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Medical  Library 

8  The  Fenway 

E.  F.  Mahady  Co. 

Medical   Books, 


Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2010  with  funding  from 

Open  Knowledge  Commons  and  Harvard  Medical  School 



Edited  by  H.  Addington  Bruce,  A.M. 







"  Dreams  are  the  true  interpreters  of  our  inclinations; 
'but  great  skill  is  required  to  sort  and  u/nderstand  them." 



pqWYAD  ♦  Q3S 




/f  //  Cf 

Copyright,  1915, 
Bt  Little,  Brown,  and  CoMPAirr. 

All  rights  reserved 

PubHshed,  May,  1915 

ly  3  ufLfC 


Set  up  and  electrotyped  by  J.  S.  Gushing  Co.,  Norwood,  Mass. ,  U.S.A. 
Presswork  by  S.  J.  Parkhill&  Co.,  Boston,  Mass.,  U.S.A. 

E.  D.  C. 


IN  accordance  with  the  purpose  of  this 
series  to  extend  knowledge  of  the  im- 
portant discoveries  affecting  individual 
and  social  welfare  that  have  been  made 
during  recent  years  through  psychological 
investigation,  the  present  volume  surveys 
the  principles  and  results  of  scientific  dream- 
analysis  along  the  lines  first  formulated  by 
Doctor  Sigmund  Freud,  of  Vienna.  Though 
Freud's  views  are  by  no  means  those  of  all 
medical  psychologists,  and  have  indeed 
been  vigorously  criticized  by  not  a  few, 
there  is  general  agreement  that  he  has 
rendered  a  real  service  to  both  psychology 
and  medicine  by  his  demonstration  of  the 
practical  value  of  dream-study.  Certainly 
no  one  has  more  thoroughly  investigated 



the  mechanism  of  dreams,  and  all  future 
explorers  of  this  phase  of  the  mental  life 
of  man  will  owe  much  to  his  pioneering 

To  be  sure,  it  must  also  be  said  that  most 
medical  psychologists  at  present  beUeve 
Freud  has  erred  in  attempting  to  reduce 
all  dreams  to  a  single  formula.  Certainly, 
however,  his  formula  holds  good  in  a  sur- 
prisingly large  number  of  instances,  as  the 
reader  will  discover.  And,  apart  from  the 
question  of  its  invariability,  there  can  be 
no  denying  the  soundness  of  the  funda- 
mental principle  on  which  all  Freudian 
dream-analysis  rests — the  principle,  namely, 
that  every  dream,  no  matter  how  trivial, 
fantastic,  or  meaningless  it  may  seem,  has 
a  definite  meaning,  and  a  meaning  that 
sometimes  is  of  great  significance  to  the 

Consequently  a  series  like  the  present 
one  would  be  incomplete  without  a  detailed 
survey  of  dreams  from  the  Freudian  stand- 



point.  For  this  task  Doctor  Coriat  is  well 
qualified.  Few  American  physicians  are  as 
familiar  as  he  with  the  doctrines  and  meth- 
ods of  Freud,  or  have  applied  them  so  con- 
sistently in  the  treatment  of  nervous  and 
mental  disease.  He  has  had  an  extensive 
clinical  experience,  having  been  for  some 
years  connected  with  the  Worcester  State 
Hospital  for  the  Insane,  and  afterward  with 
the  Boston  City  Hospital,  with  which  he 
still  is  associated.  He  is  a  member  of  many 
scientific,  medical,  and  learned  societies  in 
America  and  Europe,  is  one  of  the  editors 
of  the  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  and, 
besides  having  written  many  technical  pa- 
pers on  nervous  and  mental  disorders,  is 
the  author  of  a  valuable  textbook  on  "  Ab- 
normal Psychology."  In  that  work,  as  in 
this.  Doctor  Coriat  draws  on  his  own  expe- 
riences to  illustrate  and  reinforce  the  more 
important  points  in  his  exposition. 




THE  new  psychology  of  dreams,  as 
elaborated  by  Freud,  represents 
one  of  the  greatest  advances  ever 
made  in  our  knowledge  of  the  human  mind 
and  of  human  motives.  For  abnormal  psy- 
chology, dream-analysis  can  be  compared 
only  in  importance  with  the  discovery  of 
the  origin  of  species  and  of  the  factors  of 
organic  evolution  in  the  field  of  biology. 
The  analysis  of  dreams  is  not  only  of  great 
theoretical  value  in  the  understanding  of 
the  unconscious  but  has  its  practical  side 
as  well,  in  giving  medicine  the  most  potent 
instrument  which  it  has  ever  possessed 
in'  the  treatment  of  certain  functional 
nervous  disturbances. 



.This  volume  is  written  along  piu^ely  psy- 
cho-analytic lines,  and  every  dream  therein 
has  been  personally  analyzed  by  the  author. 
Its  aim  is  to  give  the  general  reader  an  out- 
line of  the  meaning  of  dreams  as  elaborated 
by  the  psycho -analytic  school,  with  its  ap- 
plications to  medical  science,  in  particular 
to  that  method  of  psychotherapy  known  as 
psycho-analysis.  Because  of  the  great  dif- 
ficulties inherent  in  the  subject  of  dream- 
analysis,  only  the  basic  principles  have  been 
given,  the  details  being  left  for  the  special 
treatises  and  journals  on  the  subject. 


Boston,  February,  1915. 




Editorial  Introduction     .        .        .  vii-ix 

Preface xi-xii 

I.  The  Problem  of  Dreams  ...        1 
II.  An  Example  of  Dream-Analysis      .      13 

III.  Dreams    as    the     Fulfillment     of 

Wishes 43 

IV.  Dreams  and  the  Unconscious  .    .   57 
V.  The  Mechanism  of  Dreams   .    .   66 









VI.  The  Function  of  Dreams          .        .      96 
VII.  Dreams  of  Children  and  of  Primi- 
tive Races 106 




VIII.  Typical  Dreams  .....  121 

IX.  Prophetic  Dreams      ....  141 

X.  Artieicial  Dreams      ....  153 

XI.  Dreams  and  Nervous  Diseases        .  164 

Index 193 



Chapter   I 
The  Problem  of  Dreams 

EVERYBODY  dreams,  and  every 
dream  means  something,  no  mat- 
ter how  fragmentary  and  ridicu- 
lous it  may  appear.  It  may  be  symbohc 
of  something  deep-seated  in  the  personal- 
ity of  the  dreamer,  or  it  may  indicate 
something  trivial,  but  in  every  case,  the 
dream  has  a  meaning,  which  can  only  be 
discovered  through  an  analysis  of  the  dream 
itself.  It  is  the  purpose  of  this  book  to 
describe  such  analysis  of  dreams  in  simple 

The    various    psychological    theories    of 
dreams  have  ascribed  their  origin  to  physi- 



cal  and  organic  stimuli  which  pour  into  the 
brain  during  sleep.  In  the  light  of  modern 
investigations  in  the  field  of  psycho-analysis, 
this  view-point  has  been  proven  to  be  too 
superficial,  because  such  an  interpretation 
does  not  explain,  for  instance,  how  an  un- 
covered foot  may  at  one  time  give  rise  to 
a  dream  of  freezing  to  death  amid  Arctic 
snows,  and  on  another  occasion,  in  the 
same  individual,  lead  to  a  dream  of  being 
bound  hand  and  foot  before  a  gigantic 
electric  fan  as  a  form  of  martyrdom  for 
some  religious  belief.  The  central  prob- 
lem of  dream  psychology,  therefore,  must 
answer  the  question  as  to  why  the  dreamer 
interprets  the  physical  or  organic  stimulus 
as  he  does,  and  why  the  same  stimulus 
often  gives  rise  to  widely  different  types 
of  dreams. 

The  theory  of  dream  formation  as  elabo- 
rated by  Freud  does  indeed  admit  that 
external  stimuli  may  often  enter  into  the 
complex  machinery  of  the  dream,  but  only 



as  an  instigator  or  starter  of  the  dream,  in 
much  the  same  manner  as  the  self-starter 
of  an  automobile,  which  throws  all  the 
cylinders  of  the  motor  into  action.  The 
real  makers  of  the  dream,  however,  accord- 
ing to  psycho-analysis,  are  certain  uncon- 
scious mental  processes.  The  psycho- 
analytic view-point  goes  a  step  further  and 
shows  in  addition  how  the  unconscious  and 
ofttimes  latent  mental  process  may  be 
transformed  into  a  most  complex  dream 
by  means  of  certain  well-known  dream 
mechanisms.  Therefore,  any  stimulus,  — 
physical,  organic,  or  ideational,  —  is  merely 
the  instigator  or  activator  of  important 
mental  processes  in  the  formation  of  the 
dream.  We  must  emphasize  the  term 
"important",  since  no  dream  ever  deals 
with  trifles,  but  only  with  subjects  of  great 
personal  interest  to  the  dreamer. 

Because  the  dream  undergoes  such  an 
elaborate  transforming  process,  it  must 
conceal  within  itself  not  only  the  uncon- 



scious  thoughts  which  actually  give  rise 
to  it,  but  also  all  the  stimuli,  physical  or 
mental,  which  have  thrown  these  mental 
mechanisms  into  activity.  Therefore,  the 
dream  must  be  deciphered  or  analyzed  in 
order  to  be  understood.  The  deciphering 
of  a  dream  is  one  of  the  functions  of  psy- 
cho-analysis, which,  in  its  broadest  sense, 
may  be  defined  as  that  method  which, 
without  the  use  of  hypnosis,  investigates 
human  motives  and  the  content  of  the 

Such  an  analysis  demonstrates  that  while 
on  the  surface  the  dream  may  appear  to  be 
a  weird,  absurd,  and  disconnected  phan- 
tasmagoria, yet  the  unconscious  thoughts 
which  give  rise  to  it  are  arranged  in  a  logical 
order  and  have  a  definite  purpose  in  the 
protection  of  the  mental  well-being  of  the 
dreamer.  The  dream,  therefore,  is  a  sym- 
bol of  certain  mental  processes,  and  as 
will  be  demonstrated  later,  it  represents 
the  fulfillment  of  a  wish  which  for  years 



may  have  lain  dormant  in  the  unconscious.^ 
This  is  why  the  dream  is  so  important  a 
factor  for  a  proper  understanding  of  human 
personahty,  normal  and  abnormal,  and  for 
a  proper  interpretation  of  human  character. 
The  dream  has  likewise  a  genetic  meaning 
and  can  be  used  to  interpret  the  uncon- 
scious desires  of  both  the  race  and  society. 
A  man's  motives  and  character  cannot 
be  judged  by  his  conduct  or  his  speech, 
because  his  conduct  may  conceal  his  inner 
feelings,  or  the  conventionalities  of  modern 
civilization  may  have  taught  him  to  sup- 
press and  thus  rationalize  his  real  emotions 
and  desires.  In  the  true  interpretation  of 
man,  the  psycho-analysis  of  dreams  comes 
to  our  rescue.  Dreams  are  not  the  dis- 
ordered phantasmagoria  of  a  partially  sleep- 
ing brain,  but  are  logical  and  well  ordered, 
and    conceal   within    themselves    our   true 

1  The  term  "unconscious"  is  used  in  this  book,  not  in  the  popu- 
lar sense  of  loss  of  consciousness,  but  as  meaning  mental  processes 
of  which  we  are  not  aware,  but  of  which  we  may  become  aware  in 
dreams  or  through  certain  technical  devices. 



wishes  and  desires.  The  dream  reveals 
the  true  inner  man,  his  various  motives 
and  desires,  hidden  from  the  view  of  others 
and  often  hidden  from  his  own  conscious 
thoughts.  Consequently,  when  rightly  in- 
terpreted, dreams  are  the  real  key  to  the 
riddle  of  human  life,  because  through  them 
the  door  is  unlocked  to  our  unconscious  and 
our  real  selves.  The  unconscious  is  our 
true  self,  not  our  conscious  thinking,  with 
its  rationalization  of  all  our  mental  pro- 

The  dream  may  also  use  popular  and  even 
strange  phrases  in  its  symbolism,  reminding 
one  strongly  of  punning  and  witticisms. 
In  fact,  Freud's  theory  of  wit  is  based  upon 
the  same  mental  mechanism  as  that  of 
dreaming.  For  instance,  a  woman  had 
the  following  dream.  She  seemed  to  see 
a  fair-haired  child,  resembling  the  Cupid 
which  appears  on  Valentines  and  with  a 
pink  scarf  about  the  body,  sitting  on  an 
elephant  and  driving  it.     The  analysis  of 



this  apparently  absurd  dream  was  most 
interesting.  Two  types  of  instigators  of 
the  dream  could  be  determined  :  a  physical 
one,  some  pictures  of  recently  acquired 
elephants  at  a  Zoological  Garden;  and  a 
mental  one,  a  desire  to  buy  Valentines  for 
some  children.  In  this  woman  there  was 
a  strong  wish  for  motherhood,  which  for 
certain  reasons  was  difficult  of  fulfillment. 
She  felt  that  if  she  had  a  child  at  her  period 
of  life  it  might  be  a  great  burden  to  her. 
Therefore,  the  unconscious  deliberately 
picked  out  the  elephant  as  an  instigator, 
because  it  served  its  purpose  as  a  pun,  — 
namely  that  a  child  might  be  "an  elephant 
on  her  hands." 

Thus  "the  interpretation  of  dreams  is, 
in  fact,  the  via  regia  to  the  interpretation 
of  the  unconscious,  the  surest  ground  of 
psycho-analysis,  and  a  field  in  which  every 
worker  must  win  his  convictions  and  gain 
his  education"  (Freud).  Dream  interpre- 
tation,    even     in     a     practical,     so-called 



materialistic  state  of  society,  is  not  a  form 
of  interesting  and  idle  scientific  play,  but 
a  practical  method  of  the  utmost  impor- 
tance, since  it  gives  us  an  insight  into  the 
inner  nature  of  man,  into  his  real  motives 
and  desires,  into  his  unconscious  mental 

From  the  period  of  the  earliest  Baby- 
lonian records  up  to  modern  times,  a  belief 
in  the  interpretation  and  the  veracity  of 
dreams,  particularly  in  foretelling  the 
future,  was  possessed  by  the  mass  of  people. 
The  popular  point  of  view  has  always  been 
that  a  dream  is  a  symbol  and  has  something 
of  importance  concealed  within  it,  and  this 
hidden  meaning,  often  cryptic,  can  be  in- 
terpreted. For  years  psychologists  have 
held  the  opinion  that  the  dream  was  a 
senseless  grouping  of  ideas  which  ran  ram- 
pant in  the  brain  of  the  sleeper,  claiming 
indeed  that  the  sleeping  brain  was  incapa- 
ble of  any  form  of  logical  thinking.  There- 
fore, dreams  became  mere  curiosities,  not 



worthy  of  study  by  any  intelligent  individ- 
ual. On  the  one  hand  we  were  confronted 
by  the  superstitious  and  the  prophetic 
value  ascribed  to  dreams  which  existed 
for  centuries  and  on  the  other  by  the  psy- 
chological skeptic. 

The  year  1900  is  one  of  great  significance 
for  psychology  in  general  and  for  the  psy- 
chology of  dreams  in  particular.  In  that 
year,  the  Viennese  neurologist,  Doctor  Sig- 
mund  Freud,  first  published  his  ''^  Traum- 
deutung''  ("Interpretation  of  Dreams")?  a 
work  of  profound  erudition  and  represent- 
ing years  of  study  and  close  observation. 
This  work  opened  a  new  vista  in  the  inter- 
pretation of  dreams  and  of  the  unconscious 
mental  life,  and  so  epoch-making  was  it 
that  it  made  all  previous  attempts  in  this 
direction  seem  almost  absolutely  worthless. 
In  it  Freud  showed  for  the  first  time  that 
the  dream  was  of  great  importance  psy- 
chologically and  was  really  the  first  link 
in    the    chain    of    normal    and    abnormal 



psychic  structures.  For  the  first  time,  too, 
there  was  opened  a  certain  road  to  the 
explanation  of  unconscious  mental  pro- 
cesses, processes  which  are  admitted  to- 
day to  contain  the  greater  portion  of  human 
personality.  As  a  result  of  these  investi- 
gations the  dream  became  divested  of  the 
triviality  ascribed  to  it  by  the  academic 
psychologist  and  the  superstition  which  so 
long  had  held  the  masses  of  people  and 
been  portrayed  in  the  popular  dream-book. 
Dream  mythology  had  become  a  genuine 
dream  psychology ;  the  dream  was  no  longer 
the  "child  of  an  idle  brain,  begot  of  nothing 
but  vain  fantasy."  The  dream  had  be- 
come of  practical  importance,  on  the  one 
hand  to  the  psychologist  in  interpreting 
unconscious  mental  processes,  and  on  the 
other  to  the  physician,  in  giving  him  for 
the  first  time  a  method  for  the  clear  under- 
standing of  such  abnormal  mental  states 
as  phobias,  obsessions,  delusions,  and  hal- 
lucinations.    The  dream  had  become  the 



real  interpreter  of  normal  human  life  and 
of  abnormal  mental  mechanisms,  and 
through  the  elaboration  of  the  psycho- 
analytic method  which  was  made  possible 
through  this  new  dream  psychology,  the 
dream  had  also  become  the  most  potent 
instrument  for  the  removal  of  the  symp- 
toms of  certain  functional  nervous  dis- 

Thus  the  '' Traumdeutung"  has  come 
to  occupy  the  same  central  and  important 
place  for  abnormal  psychology  as  the 
"Origin  of  Species"  did  for  biology. 
Through  the  researches  of  the  active 
workers  in  the  field  of  psycho-analysis, 
certain  modifications  have  crept  in  and  are 
continuing  to  creep  in,  the  same  as  in  the 
later  work  of  De  Vries  and  Mendel  for 
evolution  and  the  origin  of  species,  with- 
out, however,  in  either  case  changing  the 
fundamental  principles  as  set  forth  by  the 
original  discoverer. 

The  technique  of  dream-interpretation  is 



most  difficult.  A  dream  of  an  instant  may 
require  dozens  of  pages  for  its  proper  inter- 
pretation, thus  showing  how  condensed  a 
product  the  dream  is.  Without  training 
in  neurology  and  psychiatry,  and  without 
an  accurate  knowledge  of  Freud's  theories, 
one  cannot  hope  to  succeed  in  dream- 
analysis,  which  is  the  basis  of  the  psycho- 
analytic treatment  of  the  neuroses,  any 
more  than  one  can  do  a  complicated 
chemical  analysis  without  training  in  the 
elements  of  chemistry. 


Chapter  II 
An  Example  of  Dream- Analysis 

IT  is  best  to  take  as  a  starting  point 
in  explaining  dream-analysis  the  in- 
terpretation of  an  ordinary  dream, 
thus  paving  the  way  for  a  clearer  under- 
standing of  the  psychology  of  dreams  and 
the  various  mental  mechanisms  which  en- 
ter into  their  formation.  To  interpret  or 
analyze  a  dream  means  to  find  out  its  inner 
and  often  hidden  meaning,  to  collect  the 
thoughts  or  mental  processes  which  have 
produced  the  dream  and  out  of  which  the 
dream  is  constructed. 

Only  a  portion  of  the  analytic  procedure 
can  be  described,  and  since  dream-analysis 
is  an  art  as  well  as  a  science,  a  considerable 
knowledge  of  psychopathology  is  needed 
as  well  as  long  experience  in  dream-inter- 



pretation.  In  fact,  the  analysis  of  dreams 
is  a  highly  technical  procedure,  and  like 
other  technical  methods,  must  be  fully 
learned  and  mastered  before  it  can  be 
adequately  handled  as  an  instrument  to 
penetrate  the  deepest  and  most  significant 
aspects  of  our  thoughts.  No  amount  of 
reading  can  make  a  psycho-analyst  any 
more  than  one  can  expect  to  paint  por- 
traits by  reading  how  to  do  it. 

For  certain  reasons  I  shall  choose  the 
following  dream  of  a  medical  friend,  which 
was  dreamed  in  the  late  morning  and 
written  down  immediately  on  awakening, 
thus  making  its  recollection  exceedingly 
accurate,  as  it  was  particularly  vivid  and 
intense.  This  dream  I  was  given  the  oppor- 
tunity to  analyse  fully.  It  will  be  noticed 
that  while  the  dream  is  short,  the  analysis 
occupies  many  pages.  This  is  a  fact  of 
great  significance  which  will  be  subse- 
quently explained  in  detail.  As  in  all 
dream-analysis,     there    were    opened    up 



certain  data  of  exceedingly  intimate  re- 
lationship, which  led  into  places  where 
discretion  was  needed.  Thus  for  personal 
reasons,  these  mental  processes  cannot  be 
mentioned,  while  other  data  which  it  may 
be  necessary  to  disclose  will  be  more  or 
less  disguised.  These  omissions  do  not, 
however,  in  any  way  invalidate  the  pur- 
pose of  the  analysis  which  we  wish  to  em- 
phasize :  namely,  a  study  of  the  various 
dream  mechanisms. 


My  friend  seemed  to  be  in  the  dining- 
room  at  the  home  of  Doctor  and  Mrs.  X. 
From  the  room  the  entrance-hall  could  be 
seen.  Mrs.  X.  was  there  and  looked  per- 
fectly natural,  while  Doctor  X.  appeared 
to  be  sitting  on  the  edge  of  a  leather-covered 
chair.  Doctor  X.  appeared  changed,  how- 
ever. In  place  of  a  short  moustache,  it 
seemed  that  he  had  grown  a  beard  resem- 
bling the  beard  of  the  dreamer ;  he  appeared 



rather  thinner  than  usual,  while  his  hair 
was  silky  and  of  light  tow  color.  The 
three  appeared  to  be  talking  earnestly  and 
intimately  about  some  subject  which  the 
dreamer  was  unable  to  remember.  In  the 
midst  of  the  conversation,  the  front  door- 
bell rang.  Doctor  X.  went  to  the  door, 
and  as  he  was  leaving  the  room,  Mrs.  X. 
remarked:  "That  is  a  rabbi;  we  don't 
want  any  more  rabbis  in  here." 

Then  she  dived  suddenly  under  the  table 
as  if  to  hide,  crouching  low  in  a  most  un- 
dignified manner,  entirely  out  of  keeping 
with  her  usual  dignified  behavior,  and 
motioned  to  the  dreamer  to  hide  in  a  closet. 
Doctor  X.  came  back  and  with  a  smile 
said:  "It  wasn't  a  rabbi;  it  was  a 
package."  Then  all  resumed  easy  conver- 
sation. Doctor  X.  then  remarked  that  he 
was  not  going  to  Europe  this  year  on 
account  of  the  war  and  added:  "Have 
you  read  Wells's  'The  World  Set  Free'  .^" 
My   friend   replied   that   he   had   read   it 



shortly  after  publication  and  added  that 
it  was  remarkable  how  Wells  had  so 
clearly  predicted  in  the  book  many  of  the 
events  of  the  present  European  war.  Then 
Doctor  X.  replied :  ''Yes  and  the  Holland 
dikes  or  dams  —  and  they  are  going  to 
erect  a  monument  to  the  Prince  of  Lum- 

Now  what  does  this  nonsensical,  appar- 
ently meaningless  dream  signify,  and  how 
did  this  conglomeration  of  ideas  come  into 
the  dreamer's  head  ?  What  was  the  mental 
process  that  produced  the  change  in  the 
personal  appearance  of  an  intimate  friend, 
and  made  a  dignified  young  woman  act 
and  talk  in  such  a  curious  manner  ?  What 
was  the  meaning  of  the  ridiculous  phrase 
"the  Prince  of  Lumbago  .^"  What  was  be- 
hind the  dreamer's  thought  that  prompted 
him  to  put  the  remark  about  rabbis  in 
the  mouth  of  the  young  woman  ?  At  this 
point  a  brief  preliminary  statement,  even 



at   the   risk   of   later  repetition,    becomes 

The  success  of  a  psycho-analysis  of  a 
dream  depends  upon  the  subject  whose 
dream  is  analyzed.  He  must  tell  every- 
thing that  comes  into  the  mind  concerning 
each  element  of  the  dream  and  not  sup- 
press or  brush  aside  an  idea  because  it 
appears  unimportant  or  of  no  significance. 
No  association  that  arises  is  too  trivial 
for  the  analysis;  everything  is  essential. 
In  other  words,  the  attitude  of  the  sub- 
ject towards  his  dream  must  be  purely 
objective;  he  must,  in  cold  blood,  as  it 
were,  dissect  the  dream  into  its  component 
parts.  This  is  best  done  in  a  quiet,  rest- 
ful position  and  with  the  concentrated 
attention  on  each  dream-element.  This  is 
merely  a  brief  outhne  of  the  procedure  of 
dream-analysis.  The  finer  technical  points 
and  the  interpretation  of  the  symbolism  of 
dreams,  for  reasons  of  space  and  because 
of  the  special  difficulties  involved,  cannot 



be  discussed  here.  It  is  important,  how- 
ever, to  point  out  that  dreams  make  abun- 
dant use  of  symboHsms  to  disguise  the 
latent  thoughts  producing  the  dream,  and 
these  symbols  have  the  same  general 
meaning  in  all  dreams  because  they  belong 
to  the  unconscious  thinking  of  the  human 

Toward  this  procedure  there  will  arise 
the  natural  criticism  that  then  a  dream 
can  be  made  to  say  almost  anything;  it 
can  be  twisted  and  distorted  at  random. 
This,  however,  is  not  so,  for  the  free  asso- 
ciations employed  in  dream-analysis  are 
really  not  free.  They  are  no  more  due  to 
chance  than  the  falling  of  a  stone  is  due  to 
chance.  In  the  physical  world  both  speed 
and  direction  of  falling  objects  are  brought 
about  by  the  inexorable  law  of  gravitation. 
So  in  the  mental  world,  ideas  apparently 
chosen  at  random  are  subject  to  a  definite 
law.  The  thoughts  do  not  come  haphazard. 
The  free  associations  brought  forth  in  the 



analysis  of  a  given  element  of  a  dream  are 
produced  by  the  same  mass  of  unconscious 
thoughts  as  create  the  particular  dream- 
element  under  examination. 

When  one  thinks  voluntarily  of  a  number, 
for  instance,  we  find  on  analysis  that  the 
number  which  occurs  is  not  a  voluntary 
product,  but  determined  by  thoughts  of 
which  the  subject  is  not  aware,  i.e.  un- 
conscious thoughts.  Thus  the  number, 
like  the  apparently  free  association,  is 
motivated  by  unconscious  thoughts.  An 
example  of  this  apparently  random  or 
"chance"  choosing  of  numbers  occurred 
in  the  following  dream  :  A  woman  dreamed 
that  she  was  counting  nickels  used  for 
telephoning  and  found  that  she  had  nine, 
counting  them  in  three's,  as,  three  —  six  — 
nine.  How  is  this  all  to  be  explained? 
Were  the  numbers  in  the  dream  of  acci- 
dental occurrence,  chance  figures,  an  arbi- 
trary choice,  or  were  they  caused  by  ideas 
unknown     to     the    consciousness    of    the 



dreamer?  An  analysis  of  this  dream  re- 
vealed the  concealed  mental  feelings  of 
the  woman  and  demonstrated  that  re- 
pressed memories,  pushed  out  by  conscious- 
ness because  painful,  revealed  themselves 
in  these  apparently  chance  numbers.  Thus 
she  had  been  married  twelve  years  (nine 
plus  three  equals  twelve,  the  end  numbers 
of  the  counting  process)  and  at  the  end  of 
nine  years  certain  domestic  difficulties  with 
her  husband  entered  into  her  life,  rendering 
her  very  unhappy.  This  difficulty  occurred 
three  years  ago.  Furthermore,  she  won- 
dered if  her  husband  would  give  her  the 
annual  birthday  gift,  as  her  birthday  was 
approaching  on  the  twenty-seventh  day  of 
the  month  (nine  times  three  equals  twenty- 
seven)  in  which  the  dream  occurred. 

In  a  like  manner,  if  attention  be  f ocussed 
on  any  particular  element  of  a  dream,  and 
everything  that  comes  into  the  mind  be 
related  without  criticism,  it  will  be  found 
that    the    incoming    thoughts    brought    to 



the  surface  are  directly  or  indirectly  re- 
lated to  the  specific  dream-element.  There 
is  no  free  choice  in  the  ideas  which  appear ; 
there  is  a  rigorous  relation  of  one  idea  to 
another.  This  relationship  is  called  deter- 

On  this  theory  of  determinism  the  psy- 
cho-analytic procedure  is  based.  Further- 
more, there  is  a  remarkable  similarity  in 
the  dream-interpretation  of  the  dreams  of 
different  individuals.  In  fact,  certain  so- 
called  "typical  dreams"  in  various  in- 
dividuals, —  which  nearly  every  one  has 
dreamed,  —  such  as  the  dream  of  being 
clothed  in  insufficient  clothing,  or  the  dream 
of  the  death  of  a  near  and  dear  relative, 
can  all  be  traced  to  the  same  unconscious 
thoughts.  This  could  only  take  place  if 
there  were  a  psychical  connection  between 
the  apparently  random  thoughts.  The 
collateral  thoughts,  too,  in  dreams  of  the 
same  type,  lead  to  the  same  inevitable 
conclusion.     Furthermore,    in    the    similar 



technical  method  of  the  association  tests/ 
the  reply  given  to  a  certain  test  word  is 
only  superficially  at  random.  There  exists 
here,  as  in  the  free  association  procedures 
of  dream-analysis,  a  deep  connection  be- 
tween the  test  word  and  the  reply.  Our 
conscious  motives  and  our  conscious 
thoughts,  whether  these  latter  occur  during 
our  waking  life  or  in  dreams,  are  motivated 
or  caused  by  the  unconscious. 

Of  course  every  dream  cannot  be  fully 
interpreted,  because  the  resistance  which 
produced  the  distortion  of  the  dream  may 
likewise  be  at  work  in  the  analysis.  One 
form  of  resistance  is  the  unwillingness  of  the 
subject  to  give  free  associations,  as  in  the 
frequent  remark:  ''  I  can't  think  of  anything 
else."  In  discussing  the  psychology  of 
dream  activities,  Freud  states  as  follows:^ 

"It  is  in  fact  demonstrably  incorrect  to 

^  For  an  account  of  the  association  tests  see  my  "Abnormal 
Psychology  "  chapters  iii  and  iv,  2nd  edition  New  York,  1914. 

2  "The  Interpretation  of  Dreams,"  p.  418.  (In  this  and  sub- 
sequent passages  from  Freud,  Brill's  translation  is  used.) 



state  that  we  abandon  ourselves  to  an 
aimless  course  of  thought  when,  as  in  the 
interpretation  of  dreams,  we  relinquish  our 
reflection  and  allow  the  unwished-for  idea 
to  come  to  the  surface.  It  can  be  shown 
that  we  can  reject  only  those  end-presenta- 
tions that  are  familiar  to  us,  and  that  as 
soon  as  these  stop,  the  unknown,  or  as  we 
may  say  more  precisely,  the  unconscious 
end-presentations  immediately  come  into 
play,  which  now  determine  the  course  of  the 
unwished-for  presentations.  A  mode  of 
thinking  without  end-idea  can  surely  not  be 
brought  about  through  any  influence  we  can 
exert  in  our  mental  life;  nor  do  I  know,  either, 
of  any  state  of  psychic  derangement  in  which 
such  mode  of  thought  establishes  itself." 

With  these  prehminary  statements,  which 
are  absolutely  essential  to  a  clear  under- 
standing of  dream-analysis,  we  will  now 
proceed  to  the  analysis  of  the  dream  itself.^ 

1  The  dream-elements,  as  they  appear  in  the  analysis,  are 
given  in  italics. 




Doctor  X.  was  an  old  school  and  college 
friend  of  the  subject  and  on  taking  his 
degree  had  specialized  in  surgery,  while  the 
subject  had  specialized  in  internal  medi- 
cine. The  subject  had  known  Mrs.  X.  only 
since  her  marriage,  and  when  he  first  met 
her,  not  only  he  but  others  had  remarked 
on  her  Semitic  appearance.  Doctor  and 
Mrs.  X.  had  both  planned  to  go  to  Europe 
that  year,  but  on  account  of  the  outbreak 
of  the  European  war,  the  trip  would  prob- 
ably have  to  be  postponed,  although  the 
subject  had  not  heard  definitel}^  from  them 
for  some  time,  as  he  had  left  town  for  a 
summer  holiday.  The  subject  also,  in  the 
earlier  part  of  the  year,  had  thought  of 
making  a  European  trip,  but  had  post- 
poned it  and  had  remained  in  America  at 
the  urgent  request  of  his  family. 

Dining-room  at  the  home  of  Doctor  and 
Mrs,  X, 



The  subject  did  not  care  much  for  the 
summer  resort  for  the  reason  that  while 
the  food  was  abundant,  he  found  the  cook- 
ing rather  tasteless.  He  had  frequently, 
while  there,  expressed  the  wish  to  return 
to  the  city,  and  had  often,  partly  in  jest 
and  partly  in  earnest,  said  that  he  would 
like  to  be  in  town  before  the  supply  of 
foreign  foods,  of  which  he  was  fond,  had 
been  exhausted.  Doctor  and  Mrs.  X.  had 
often  given  delightful  dinners  at  their  home, 
and  at  these  dinners  many  excellent  dishes 
were  served.  Therefore,  this  portion  of 
the  dream  becomes  clear.  It  expresses  the 
fulfillment  of  a  desire  to  be  in  the  city  again 
with  its  excitement,  rather  than  endure  the 
dull  routine  of  the  country;  and  also  the 
wish  to  have  again  a  dinner  at  the  home  of 
Doctor  X.  in  place  of  the  tasteless  food  of 
the  summer  resort.  Dining-room  also  sym- 
bolized intimacy,  since  less  intimate  friends 
would  be  received  in  a  drawing-room. 

Doctor,  X.  appeared  changed.     In  place 



oj  a  dark  moustache,  it  seemed  that  he  had 
grown  a  heard  resembling  the  heard  of  the 

The  subject  in  the  dream  had  given 
Doctor  X.  one  of  his  own  physical  charac- 
teristics, namely,  a  beard.  He  had  often 
thought  and  impressed  it  upon  Doctor  X., 
and  indeed  the  latter  had  himself  remarked 
that  he  wished  he  had  had  a  better  training 
in  internal  medicine,  as  this  would  be  of 
material  help  to  him  in  surgical  diagnosis. 
In  the  dream,  one  of  the  attributes  of  the 
internist,  namely  the  beard,  is  given  to 
Doctor  X.,  the  part  in  this,  as  in  many 
dreams,  standing  for  the  whole.  Thus  the 
wish  for  his  friend  to  have  increased  knowl- 
edge of  internal  medicine  is  fulfilled  in 
this  part  of  the  dream.  He  is  given  part 
of  the  subject's  mental  equipment  —  in 
the  guise  of  a  physical  characteristic. 
He  appeared  rather  thinner  than  usual. 
Doctor  X.  had  grown  rather  corpulent 
within  the  last   few  years,  and   had  vol- 



untarily,  within  the  last  year,  materially 
reduced  his  weight  through  diet  and 
exercise.  The  dreamer  thought  that  this 
change  was  for  the  better,  as  he  had  often 
felt  that  his  friend  was  too  stout  for  his 

His  hair  was  silky  and  of  a  light  tow  color. 
The  day  before  the  dream,  the  subject 
had  visited  a  boy's  camp  situated  in  a  high, 
mountainous  district,  and,  as  a  physician, 
he  was  impressed  with  the  splendid  physical 
condition  of  all  the  boys  there.  He  saw 
several  boys  with  light,  tow-colored  hair, 
the  same  color  as  Doctor  X.'s  hair  in  the 
dream,  the  color  of  hair  being  that  usually 
seen  on  dolls.  Doctor  X.  had  not  been 
well  of  late ;  in  fact,  for  a  time  he  was  rather 
nervous  and  sleepless.  He  thought  that  he 
could  improve  his  health  by  reducing  in 
weight  and  going  to  a  gymnasium.  In 
the  dream  he  is  given  one  of  the  attributes 
of  a  successful  return  to  health,  the  physical 
attribute  which  characterized  some  of  the 



healthy  boys,  namely,  tow-colored  hair. 
Again  we  see  the  fulfillment  of  a  wish  and 
the  part  of  a  dream  standing  for  the  whole. 

The  recent  experiences  of  the  day  before, 
which  have  been  woven  into  the  dream,  are 
termed  dream  instigators.  Thus,  although 
the  instigator  was  at  first  sight  of  insignifi- 
cant importance,  it  became  a  part  of  the 
dream,  because  the  experience  was  one  of 
psychical  significance  for  the  dream  itself. 
In  other  words,  the  "tow-colored  hair" 
was  selected  from  a  mass  of  recent  experi- 
ences because  it  fitted  exactly  into  the 
principal  function  of  the  dream,  namely : 
its  wish  fulfillment  that  the  doctor  be  in 
better  physical  condition.  Thus  the  re- 
cent memories  as  well  as  older  memories 
are  treated  the  same  way  in  the  dream, 
because  both  served  the  wish-fulfilling  pur- 
pose of  the  dream. 

The  putting  of  light  hair  on  the  head  of 
a  man  whose  hair  is  dark,  and  of  a  beard, 
when  in  reality  no  beard  exists,  is  caused  by 



two  important  dream  mechanisms  called  dis- 
placement and  condensation.  These  mech- 
anisms have  a  definite  purpose  in  unravel- 
ling the  meaning  of  the  dream.  The 
displacement  gives  the  individual  the  at- 
tribute of  a  wished-for  physical  strength 
(symbolized  by  the  light  hair)  and  of  a 
better  knowledge  of  internal  medicine 
(symbolized  by  the  beard).  These  two 
attributes  are  condensed  in  the  one  individ- 
ual, the  figure  of  the  doctor.  This  con- 
densation is  produced  in  the  dream  by  a 
fusion  of  traits  belonging  to  two  different 
individuals,  thus  making  them  more  prom- 
inent and  thereby  reinforcing  two  divergent 
but  friendly  wishes.  A  certain  similarity 
is  therefore  expressed  in  the  underlying 
thoughts  (termed  the  latent  content)  which 
gave  rise  to  the  dream,  and  these  were 
fused  for  the  purpose  of  reinforcement 
in  the  dream  as  related  (called  the  manifest 
content).  The  ability  to  see  the  entrance 
of  the   dining-room,   the   closet,   and   the 



leather  chair,  all  of  which  objects  and  situa- 
tions do  not  exist  in  reality,  are  also  in- 
stances of  displacement  for  the  purpose  of 
expressing  the  wish,  as  will  be  shown  later, 
of  an  intimate  friendly  relation :  i.e.  — 
the  house  is  topsy-turvy,  and  yet  they 
receive  outsiders;  who  can  these  outsiders 
be  but  relatives  or  intimate  friends  ?  Thus 
''Dream  displacement  and  dream  conden- 
sation are  the  two  craftsmen  to  whom  we 
may  chiefly  attribute  the  moulding  of  the 

The  three  appeared  to  be  talking  earnestly 
and  intimately, 

A  wish  to  retain  friendship,  so  that  this 
easy  and  intimate  conversation  might  be 
continued,  with  the  good  times  incident 
on  friendship  and  a  sense  of  feeling 
thoroughly  at  home  in  another's  house. 
The  subject  had  left  town  without  saying 
good-by  and  while  away  had  not  even 
written  a  postal  to  his  friends.  He  won- 
dered if  this  would  in  any  way  minimize  or 



jeopardize  his  friendship  and  hoped  that 
it  would  not.  Therefore  this,  as  well  as 
other  parts  of  the  dream,  represents  this 
wish  as  fulfilled  and  still  present. 

Mrs,  X.  remarked:  "  That  is  a  rabbi:  we 
donH  want  any  more  rabbis  in  here. 

Rabbi.  The  subject  had  often  thought 
that  Mrs.  X.  looked  foreign  and  Jewish, 
but  she  was  really  not  a  Jewess.  The 
subject  himself  was  Hebrew  and  had  often 
felt,  because  of  his  religious  belief,  that 
perhaps  he  was  only  tolerated  by  the 
doctor  and  his  wife,  and  that,  after  all, 
the  friendship  was  probably  not  so  intimate 
as  the  subject  wished.  Therefore  the  sig- 
nificance of  the  phrase  "We  don't  want 
any  more  rabbis  in  here"  signified  that 
the  friendship  would  remain  the  same, 
but  they  did  not  care  to  have  any  more 
Jewish  friends.  Again  the  fulfillment  of 
a  wish.  He  felt  that  he  had  really  re- 
mained an  intimate  friend,  so  much  so  that 
in  his  presence  and  without  hurting  his 



feelings  they  could  refer  to  the  desire  not 
to  have  any  more  Jewish  friends.  This 
was  symbolized  and  condensed  in  the 
reiteration  of  the  word  "rabbis."  This 
portion  of  the  dream  also  shows,  through 
a  kind  of  reinforcement,  that  Mrs.  X.  is 
not  Jewish,  as  she  would  not  speak  thus 
disparagingly  of  her  co-religionists. 

It  is  of  interest  also  that  Mrs.  X.  looked 
perfectly  natural  in  the  dream;  there  was 
no  disguise,  but  a  kind  of  effort  to  preserve 
her  Semitic  appearance  in  order  to  offset 
and  neutralize  in  the  dream  her  reference 
to  Jews  (rabbis) .  This  is  due  to  the  action 
of  what  is  known  as  the  censor,  which  divests 
the  dream  process  of  part  of  its  cutting 
references  to  Jews  by  preserving  the  Jewish 
appearance  of  the  person  who  made  the 
remark.  Thus  the  long  underlying  dream 
thoughts  have  undergone  a  censorship,  a 
little  late  perhaps,  because  the  dream  was 
pretty  fully  formed,  so  that  the  reference 
to  rabbis   crept  in   but  was   immediately 


neutralized.  A  compromise  has  been 
formed  to  disarm  the  remark  of  its  force. 
This  censorship  acts  in  the  same  way  as 
that  apphed  to  dispatches  or  telegrams  of 
war  correspondents  before  being  given  to 
the  public,  neutralizing  the  message  so  as 
to  make  it  as  harmless  as  possible.  So 
the  censor  often  works  in  dreams  to  render 
certain  groups  of  dream  elements  harmless. 

Rabbis  also  gave  the  free  associations 
rabble  or  crowd,  meaning  that  they  did  not 
care  for  any  more  friends,  but  just  a  few 
intimate  friends  like  the  dreamer,  even 
though  they  were  Jewish.  Yet  they  feel 
so  at  home  with  him  that  they  can  conven- 
iently refer  to  other  Jews. 

Then  she  dived  suddenly  under  the  table 
as  if  to  hide,  crouching  low  in  a  most  undig- 
nified manner,  entirely  out  of  keeping  with 
her  usual  demeanor,  and  motioned  to  the 
subject  to  hide  in  a  closet. 

This  undignified  behavior  of  the  doctor's 
wife  again  expresses  the  fulfillment  of  the 



wish  that  in  their  house  he  be  made  to  feel 
completely  at  home,  so  that  in  his  presence 
she  could  act  as  she  wished,  even  going  to 
the  absurd  extreme  of  squatting  under  the 
table  and  talking  freely. 

Wells's  "  World  Set  Freer 

This  followed  the  doctor's  remark  that 
his  projected  European  trip  had  been  given 
up  on  account  of  the  war.  The  subject 
had  often  remarked  the  prophecies  of  Wells 
in  his  scientific  romances,  particularly  con- 
cerning war,  as  in  "The  War  in  the  Air" 
and  "The  World  Set  Free."  There  had 
recently  appeared  in  the  newspapers  an 
account  of  the  havoc  wrought  in  Antwerp 
through  bombardment  by  a  German  Zep- 
pelin, and  how  nearly  Wells  had  forecast 
these  fights  of  the  "nations'  airy  navies" 
in  his  books.  In  the  accounts  of  the  war, 
the  subject  had  constantly  compared  the 
actual  events  with  Wells's  latest  book. 

Then  Doctor  X,  replied:  ''Yes  and  the 
Holland  dikes  or  dams  —  and  they  are  going 



to  erect  a  monument  to  the  Prince  of  Lum- 

A  reference  to  the  threat  of  the  Dutch 
that  if  their  neutral  country  were  invaded 
by  the  Germans  the  same  as  Belgium  was 
invaded,  they  would  open  the  dikes  and 
flood  the  country.  The  fulfilling  of  this 
threat  forms  one  of  the  most  dramatic 
episodes  of  Wells's  recent  book. 

Lumbago.  The  subject  had  lumbago  for 
several  days  previously,  and  since  he  had 
not  improved  under  anti-rheumatic  diet, 
he  at  one  time  had  thought  of  going  to  the 
city  for  electrical  treatment.  In  fact,  he 
thought  that  this  would  furnish  a  good 
excuse  for  returning  to  the  city.  That 
the  word  lumbago  is  a  form  of  displacement 
or  dream  contamination^  is  shown  through 
the    free    associations,    viz. :    Lumbago  — 

^  As  a  literary  example,  the  following  passage  from  Carroll's 
"Alice  in  Wonderland,"  which  is  really  the  dream  of  a  child, 
offers  a  specific  instance  of  dream  displacement :  "Alice  turned  to 
the  Mock  Turtle,  and  said :  '  What  else  had  you  to  learn  ? ' 
*Well,  there  was  Mystery,'  the  Mock  Turtle  repUed,  'Mystery, 
ancient  and  modem,  with  Seaography,  then  Drawling.' " 



Lemburg  —  Limburg  (a  place  mentioned 
in  the  war  dispatches)  —  Limburger  — 
cheese  —  wondered  if  through  the  war  the 
supply  of  foreign  cheese,  of  which  he 
was  fond,  would  be  curtailed.  This  also 
brought  to  his  mind  a  jocular  remark  made 
in  the  past  that  the  flavor  of  some  cheeses 
was  so  fine  that  the  inventor  of  them  ought 
to  have  a  monument  erected  to  him.  Thus 
the  displaced  word  lumbago,  by  means  of  the 
free  associations,  is  likewise  connected  with 
the  phrase  Holland  dikes  or  dams  :  Holland 
—  Dutch  —  Dutch  cheese  —  Edam  cheese 
— dams —  (limburger  cheese)  — all  of  which 
are  condensations  for  foreign  food  stuffs, 
really  a  wish  for  change  from  the  plain  and 
rather  tasteless  diet  of  the  summer  resort. 

The  meaning  of  the  dream  thus  becomes 
clear,  and  the  question  "What  put  that 
into  my  head  V  is  answered.  In  analyzing 
this  dream,  we  find  that  it  is  composed  of 
the  condensed  product  of  two  factors,  viz. : 
(1)  The  dream  antecedents  or  instigators, 



such  as  the  events  of  the  previous  days, 
and  (2)  A  complex  mass  of  latent,  uncon- 
scious thoughts.  Out  of  these  two  factors 
the  dream  was  woven. 

The  dream-analysis  consists  therefore 
of  collecting  each  dream-element  in  an 
orderly  way  by  means  of  free  associations 
of  the  thoughts  which  come  into  conscious- 
ness without  exercising  any  conscious  or 
voluntary  control.  Thus  while  the  dream 
itself  might  appear  absurd,  disconnected, 
and  meaningless,  the  dream  thoughts  (or 
latent  content  of  the  dream)  were  a  logical 
arrangement  of  the  subject's  complicated 
and  intimate  mental  life.  The  dream 
(manifest  content)  was  short,  the  analysis 
was  long  and  intricate.  Therefore  the 
dream  was  not  only  a  condensed  product  of 
a  mass  of  latent  thoughts  but  was  likewise 
allegorical  and  symbolical. 

The  motive  of  the  dream  as  shown 
throughout  the  entire  analysis  is  the  ful- 
fillment of  a  wish  or  rather  a  group  of 



wishes  which  were  concealed  within  this 
apparently  absurd  dream.  All  dream- 
analysis  is  for  the  purpose  of  deciphering 
these  cryptic  and  hidden  wishes.  Thus 
the  dream  becomes  not  only  the  most 
potent  instrument  for  the  analysis  of  the 
unconscious  and  conscious  mental  life,  but 
also  of  certain  morbid  fears  and  obsessions, 
all  of  which  have  the  same  mechanism  and 
wish-fulfilling  purpose  as  dreaming. 

The  translating  of  the  dream  thoughts 
from  the  latent  content  into  another  form 
in  the  manifest  content  shows  that  the 
sleeping  brain  is  capable  of  logical  thinking, 
and  that  the  most  complex  mental  activity 
may  take  place  during  sleep.  The  chang- 
ing from  latent  to  manifest  content  is 
termed  the  work  of  the  dream.  Thus  the 
dream  work  is  not  mechanical  and  physio- 
logical, but  a  complex  psychical  process. 
The  dream  is  also  a  condensed  product  of 
a  long  and  complicated  psychic  process. 
Not  only  has  the  dream  become  condensed 



but  likewise  disguised  for  the  purpose  of 
protecting  sleep  from  the  vast  mass  of 
thoughts  which  produced  the  dream,  and 
which,  if  dreamed  literally,  might  disturb 
or  even  awaken  the  sleeper.  These  va- 
rious dream  mechanisms  will  be  more  fully 
discussed  in  the  course  of  another  chapter. 
In  the  analytic  procedure,  it  will  be  noticed 
that  each  element  of  the  dream  is  taken 
separately  for  analysis,  and  the  final  com- 
bination of  these  elements,  in  other  words 
the  synthesis  of  the  dream,  leads  finally 
to  the  wish  fulfillment  concealed  within 
the  dream.  The  true  meaning  of  the  dream 
is  therefore  reconstructed  out  of  the  dis- 
connected fragments  and  becomes  a  logical 
whole,  in  much  the  same  way  as  discon- 
nected pieces  of  colored  glass  can  be  com- 
bined to  form  the  allegorical  figures  of  a 
stained  glass  window. 

The  deciphering  of  the  latent  dream 
thoughts  from  the  dream  as  remembered 
is  the  analysis.     This  analysis  is  an  expan- 



sion  and  therefore  the  reversal  of  the  dream 
work,  which  is  really  a  compression  or  a  con- 
densation. The  large  mass  of  latent  dream 
thoughts  have  not  only  been  condensed,  but 
likewise  displaced,  dramatized,  and  elabo- 
rated, thus  rendering  the  true  meaning  of 
the  dream  unrecognizable  without  analy- 
sis. Because  the  dream  is  so  condensed, 
because  the  manifest  content  represents  a 
rich  well  of  underlying  dream  thoughts,  the 
dream  is  said  to  be  over-determined. 

Thus  the  dream  becomes  perfectly  in- 
telligible only  when  regarded  from  the 
standpoint  of  a  wish  fulfillment.  If  the 
dream  represents  a  wish  fulfilled,  if  the 
fulfilling  of  wishes  is  the  only  function  of 
dreaming,  how  is  it  done.^  The  dream 
wish  has  emanated  from  the  unconscious, 
and  the  dream  thus  becomes  a  direct  road 
for  a  knowledge  of  the  unconscious  mental 
life.  There  must  be  something  then  in 
the  unconscious  which  subserves  and 
directs  this  function  of  wishing,  and  since 



all  dreams  are  concealed  wishes,  the  only 
function  and  activity  of  the  unconscious 
mental  life  must  be  desiring  or  wishing. 
As  Freud  states:^  "The  reason  why  the 
dream  is  in  every  case  a  wish  realization 
is  because  it  is  a  product  of  the  unconscious, 
which  knows  no  other  aim  in  its  activity 
but  the  fulfillment  of  wishes,  and  which 
has  no  other  force  at  its  disposal  but  wish 
feehngs."  As  will  be  shown  later,  there 
are  other  types  of  wish  fulfillment  besides 
dreams;  for  instance,  all  psycho-neurotic 
symptoms  are  disguised  wish  fulfillments 
from  the  unconscious.  Thus  the  dream 
does  not  say  what  it  really  means ;  the  real 
meaning  can  be  found  only  by  the  employ- 
ment of  that  difficult  technical  method 
known  as  psycho-analysis. 

In  a  few  words,  the  real  meaning  of  the 
dream  analyzed  above  is  that  it  represented 
the  fulfillment  of  a  wish  to  preserve  friend- 

1  "The  Interpretation  of  Dreams,"  p.  448. 


Chapter  III 

Dreams  as  the  Fulfillment  of  Wishes 

I  HE  dream  stands  in  the  center  of 
the  psycho-analytic  theory  and 
gives  us  the  best  insight  into 
normal  and  abnormal  mental  structures. 
Dream-analysis  furnishes  the  physician  the 
most  direct  means  of  understanding  various 
abnormal  mental  or  nervous  states,  such  as 
obsessions,  fixed  ideas,  delusions,  hysteria, 
etc.,  and  is  the  most  powerful  instrument 
which  he  possesses  for  the  removal  of  such 
pathological  symptoms.  The  unconscious 
contains  our  repressed  instincts,  our  erotic 
or  sexual  phantasies,  and  it  expresses  these 
as  symbolic  wish  fulfillments  in  dreams 
or  in  psycho-neurotic  symptoms. 

The  motive  power  for  every  dream  is 
furnished    by    the    unconscious,    although 



this  motive  power  may  be  set  into  activity 
by  our  conscious  thoughts,  pre-sleeping 
reveries,  or  physical  instigators  during  sleep. 
A  conscious  wish  in  children  or  in  adults 
may  reinforce  the  unconscious  wish,  and  it 
will  be  fulfilled  in  the  dream.  As  Freud 
so  well  expresses  it:  "Experience  teaches 
us  that  the  road  leading  from  the  forecon- 
scious  to  the  conscious  is  closed  to  the  dream 
thoughts  during  the  day  by  the  resistance 
of  the  censor."  ^ 

At  the  bottom  of  every  dream  there  lies 
a  repressed  wish  in  the  unconscious,  a 
wish  which  may  appear  disguised  in  the 
dream,  and  which  can  only  be  interpreted 
by  an  analysis  of  the  dream.  The  theory 
that  every  dream  represents  the  fulfillment 
of  a  repressed  wish  is  one  of  the  most  im- 
portant contributions  of  the  psycho-ana- 
lytic school  but  it  can  be  well  substantiated 
by  practical  experience  in  dream-analysis. 
Furthermore,    as   previously   pointed    out, 

1  "The  Interpretation  of  Dreams,"  p.  429. 


the  unconscious  has  no  other  force  or  func- 
tion at  its  disposal  but  wish  feehngs  and 
their  fulfilhnent.  Of  course,  except  in  the 
very  elementary  wish  dreams  of  children, 
the  wish  in  adult  dreams  is  hidden  within 
the  dream  thoughts  or  latent  content  of 
the  dream,  and  only  in  rare  instances  does 
it  appear  in  the  dream  itself. 

As  an  example  of  such  a  concealed  wish, 
we  may  take  the  dream  of  a  woman  who 
dreamed  that  one  of  her  brothers  was  about 
to  be  put  to  death  by  hanging.  Such  a 
dream  appears  to  contradict  totally  the 
theory  that  dreams  represent  wish  fulfill- 
ments, often  the  fulfillment  of  wishes  im- 
possible in  reality,  for  one  would  at  once 
say  that  no  woman  would  be  so  heartless, 
so  devoid  of  feeling  as  to  entertain  such  a 
wish  against  her  brother.  If  the  dream 
is  interpreted  literally,  such  a  criticism 
would  be  well  taken,  but  the  remembered 
dream  (manifest  content),  as  previously 
pointed   out,   is  merely  a  disguise   of  the 



underlying  unconscious  thoughts  which  pro- 
duced the  dream.  What,  then,  are  these 
thoughts?  Why  does  this  woman's  un- 
conscious self  wish  her  brother  to  be  hanged, 
when  her  conscious  thoughts,  nay,  even 
her  whole  moral  being,  would  revolt  from 
such  an  idea  ? 

The  analysis  fully  disclosed  the  reason 
for  such  a  dream.  It  developed  that  the 
brother  who  was  seen  in  the  dream  was  a 
fusion  or  composite  picture  of  two  of  her 
brothers,  one  of  whom  had  died  eight  years 
previously  of  tuberculosis,  and  the  other 
four  years  ago  of  cancer.  After  the  death 
of  the  first  brother,  the  dreamer  had  for 
some  time  been  troubled  with  a  cough,  and 
although  assured  that  her  difficulty  was  not 
tubercular,  she  had  never  been  able  to 
dispel  fully  the  idea  of  tubercular  infec- 
tion, particularly  since  she  possessed  a 
certain  fear  that  the  disease  was  hereditary. 
The  dream  itself  occurred  shortly  after  an 
operation  for  a  small,  non-malignant  tumor, 



which  had  been  growing  for  a  number  of 
years,  and  which  she  had  feared  might  be 
of  a  mahgnant  character.  This  fear  was 
also  somewhat  exaggerated  and  fortified 
owing  to  the  fact  that  her  other  brother 
had  died  of  cancer,  and  she  had  become 
more  or  less  obsessed  by  the  idea  that  per- 
haps cancer,  like  tuberculosis,  might  be 
hereditary.  In  a  way,  this  fear  of  a  can- 
cerous or  tubercular  heredity  had  worried 
her  for  a  long  period.  With  these  data 
in  mind,  the  meaning  of  the  dream  becomes 
clear.  Its  wish  as  disclosed  is  not  the 
desire  to  have  her  brothers  hanged,  but  a 
longing  that  she  be  free  from  any  physical 
disease  with  the  slightest  hereditary  taint, 
for  the  purpose  of  calming  her  anxieties 
and  her  almost  obsessive  attitude  towards 
heredity.  Therefore,  the  dream  means 
that  she  wished  her  brothers  had  died  of 
some  disease  other  than  cancer  or  tuber- 
culosis (as  these  diseases  might  be  hered- 
itary, and  she  might  also  fall  a  victim  to 



one  of  them) ;  in  fact,  even  hanging  would 
be  preferable,  so  far  as  her  peace  of  mind 
was  concerned. 

The  term  ''wish"  in  psycho-analysis  is 
very  comprehensive  and  connotes  in  a  broad 
sense  all  our  desires,  ambitions,  or  strivings, 
which  are  fulfilled  in  our  dreams,  if  not  in 
reality  or  in  reveries,  principally  because 
such  wishes  or  desires  are  strongly  repressed 
from  personal,  social,  religious,  or  ethical 
motives.  Children  have  no  such  motives, 
therefore  the  wishes  of  the  child's  waking 
life  and  its  dreams  at  night  are  identical. 

The  latent  content  of  every  dream  is  the 
imaginary  fulfillment  of  an  ungratified  or  re- 
pressed wish,  but  a  wish  cannot  produce  a 
dream,  unless  such  a  wish  harmonizes  with 
the  whole  or  a  portion  of  the  unconscious  self. 
Thus  a  mental  conflict  frequently  arises, 
the  repressed,  unconscious  wish  constantly 
striving  to  enter  consciousness,  which  it 
can  accomplish  only  in  a  dream.  Dreams 
and  nervous  symptoms  have  frequently  the 



same  construction  and  mechanism;  both 
represent  conflicts  between  wishes,  i.e. : 
the  wish  to  forget  and  the  wish  for  ful- 

The  source  of  the  dream  wish  may  lie 
not  only  in  the  thoughts  repressed  into  the 
unconscious,  but  likewise  in  actual  desires 
arising  during  the  night,  such  as  thirst. 
For  instance,  if  a  feeling  of  thirst  arises 
during  sleep,  we  may  dream  of  gratifying 
this  thirst  through  drinking.  Since  the 
thirst  is  gratified  in  the  dream,  the  wish 
for  a  drink  is  fulfilled,  and  sleep  remains 
undisturbed.  Therefore,  this,  as  many 
other  dreams,  serve  to  protect  sleep;  the 
wish  has  incited  a  dream  in  which  the  wish 
is  fulfilled,  instead  of  awaking  the  sleeper 
for  the  fulfillment  of  the  wish  in  reality. 

Now,  a  wish  or  conflict  between  wishes 
may  not  only  cause  an  hysterical  disturb- 
ance but  likewise  may  show  itself  in  the 
dreams  of  the  individual  who  suffers  from 
hysteria.     For  instance,  a  young  woman 



who  had  an  anxiety  hysteria,  with  feeUngs 
of  perplexity  and  indecision  concerning 
certain  emotional  attributes  which  she  be- 
lieved she  lacked,  had  a  dream  in  which 
she  saw  herself  in  a  disguised  form  and 
apparently  made  up  of  the  figures  of  three 
women  friends.  On  analysis  it  could  be 
shown  that  this  fused  or  composite  figure 
of  herself  represented  certain  desired  attri- 
butes, and  the  three  women  had  these 
very  attributes  for  which  she  longed. 
Therefore,  the  fusion  of  these  three  figures 
into  a  new  person  representing  herself 
and  yet  not  herself  was  a  fulfillment  of  her 
own  wishes;  and  furthermore,  the  women 
were  not  accidentally  chosen,  but  deliber- 
ately selected  to  harmonize  with  these 
wishes.  Thus  no  dream  element,  figure, 
or  situation  is  accidental ;  it  is  the  prod- 
uct of  our  repressed,  unconscious  wishes, 
of  which  the  dream  represents  the  logical 
fulfillment.  In  other  words,  every  dream 
element  is  predetermined  or  motivated  by 


DEC   11  19S3 


our  unconscious  mental  life.  The  fusion 
of  the  three  figures  into  the  new  personal- 
ity in  this  dream  was  a  prearranged  plan 
of  the  subject's  unconscious,  which  took 
this  method  of  fulfilling  certain  wishes 
which  could  not  be  gratified  in  reality. 

Examples  of  this  wish-fulfilling  function 
in  the  simple  dreams  of  adults  are  as 
follows :  ^ 

Dream.  A  woman  and  her  sister  were 
seated  in  a  restaurant,  and  at  the  table 
was  also  a  man,  not  clearly  recognized 
in  the  dream.  The  woman  glanced  at  the 
clock  and  said:  "I  am  glad  Mr.  X.  is  not 
here  now;  it  will  be  ten  minutes  or  more 
before  he  arrives." 

Analysis.  A  few  weeks  previous  to 
this,  Mr.  X.  who  was  a  business  acquaint- 
ance, had  persuaded  the  dreamer  to  pur- 
chase some  artistic  objects  which  she  did  not 
care  about,  but  bought  merely  for  the  pur- 

*  The  wish  dreams  of  children  will  be  discussed  in  the  special 
chapter  devoted  to  that  subject. 



pose,  she  thinks,  of  pleasing  him  and  the 
art  dealer.  She  resented  this  action  on  his 
part,  and  although  still  pleasant  to  Mr.  X. 
outwardly,  yet  she  gets  ''square"  with  him 
in  the  dream  by  not  having  him  at  the 
dinner-party.  Thus  in  the  dream  the 
wished -for  revenge  is  fulfilled. 

A  young  woman  who  had  started  to 
study  aesthetic  dancing  and  had  purchased 
a  pair  of  new  ballet  slippers  for  that  pur- 
pose had  the  following  dream  after  having 
had  one  dancing  lesson.  She  dreamed 
that  she  was  walking  in  the  street  with  her 
ballet  slippers,  and  that  these  were  worn 
almost  threadbare.  The  analysis  showed 
that  she  had  compared  her  new  slippers 
with  those  of  the  more  advanced  members 
of  her  class,  who  were  making  rapid  prog- 
ress, and  who  knew  more  than  she  did 
about  sesthetic  dancing.  The  instigator 
of  the  dream  seemed  to  be  a  remark  made 
by  a  woman  in  the  class,  who  pointed  to 
her   worn-out   slippers  and  said:     "These 



are  my  second  pair  this  season."  Thus  the 
dream  fulfilled  her  wish  that  she  might 
be  further  advanced  in  dancing,  a  wish 
symbolized  by  the  threadbare  slippers. 

A  young  man  on  a  short  visit  to  a 
congenial  household  dreamed  that  the  re- 
cently planted  bulbs  in  this  household  had 
sprouted  and  bore  flowers.  The  wish  in 
this  dream  is  perfectly  clear:  it  expresses 
the  desire  to  prolong  the  visit,  and  this  is 
expressed  by  the  length  of  time  it  takes 
bulbs  to  grow. 

These  few  samples  of  pure  wish  dreams  in 
adults  must  suffice  for  the  present.  Others 
of  a  more  complex  character  are  given  in  the 
course  of  this  book,  but  when  these  compli- 
cated dreams  are  analyzed,  they  will  be 
found  to  contain  a  hidden  wish,  as  for  in- 
stance, the  apparently  senseless  dream  of 
the  dining-room,  given  as  an  example  of 
dream-analysis  in  the  second  chapter. 

The  following  dream  is  of  interest,  as  it 
contains  both  an  adult  and  a  childhood 



wish.     It  occurred  in  a  normal  individual 
free  from  psychoneurotic  disturbances : 

Dream.  L.  (the  dreamer's  daughter)  and 
I  were  bathing  with  others  at  dusk  near  a 
wooded  slope.  Suddenly  some  one  said : 
''Isn't  it  too  bad;  a  boy  and  girl  (or  a 
mother  and  daughter)  have  been  drowned 
(or  killed)."  I  expressed  my  sorrow,  came 
out  of  the  water,  and  began  to  hail  L. 
through  the  darkness:  "L.  where  are 
you !  I  want  my  clothes  ! "  As  I  mounted 
the  hill,  a  large,  handsome  woman  passed 
by.  She  looked  sad.  I  appeared  to  be 
only  partially  dressed,  having  only  my 
trousers  on,  but  did  not  feel  in  the  slightest 
degree  embarrassed.  I  asked  the  woman 
what  the  matter  was,  and  she  replied  that 
she  had  lost  some  one  dear  to  her.  Then 
she  disappeared.  It  was  day,  and  I  ap- 
peared to  be  alone  on  another  landscape, 
looking  at  myself  borne  up  the  hill,  on  a 
litter,  apparently  dead.  Just  as  if  I  were 
some  one  else,  I  cried  out  to  my  daughter : 



"L!  L!  what's  the  matter!"  She  did 
not  answer.  I  reiterated  my  question  more 
anxiously,  and  then  L.  smiled.  I  lifted 
myself  from  the  litter  and  began  to  laugh. 
Analysis.  The  obvious  instigators  of 
this  dream  were  the  accounts  of  the  Euro- 
pean war  (wounded  soldiers  carried  on 
litters)  and  the  fact  the  subject  was  at  a 
mountain  resort,  where  there  was  bathing 
in  a  mountain  pool.  An  interesting  point 
of  great  significance  in  the  dream  is  the 
doubling  of  the  principal  character;  in 
other  words,  the  dreamer  appears  twice 
in  the  dream,  once  alive  and  once  dead. 
This  doubling  process  thus  reinforces  the 
wish  concealed  within  the  dream :  namely, 
that  the  dreamer  be  alive  and  younger  so 
that  he  may  accomplish  more  work.  This 
doubling  process  is  an  important  mechan- 
ism, the  same  as  the  twin-motive  so  often 
found  in  mythology,  or  when  a  legend  is 
related  twice,  like  the  two  Babylonian  and 
Hebrew  accounts  of  creation.     Both  these 



are  for  the  purpose  of  emphasizing  anew 
and  thus  reinforcing  the  original  legend; 
or  in  the  dream,  for  the  purpose  of  rein- 
forcing the  primary  wish  like  a  dream 
within  a  dream.  That  portion  of  the  dream 
in  which  the  dreamer  found  himself  only 
partially  clothed  represents  a  reversion  to 
childhood  days.  Its  significance  will  be 
taken  up  in  detail  later  on  when  we  analyze 
a  typical  dream  of  nakedness. 


Chapter  IV 
Dreams  and  the  Unconscious 

BEFORE  the  various  dream  mechan- 
isms are  discussed  in  detail,  it  will 
be  necessary  to  give  a  brief  outline 
of  the  psycho-analytic  conception  of  the 
unconscious  mental  life,  as  this  enters  so 
largely  into  the  formation  of  dreams.  The 
term  "unconscious"  does  not  connote,  as 
in  the  popular  sense,  lack  of  consciousness, 
but  signifies  mental  processes  of  which  one 
is  not  aware,  and  cannot  spontaneously 
be  brought  to  consciousness,  but  which 
may  artificially  be  recalled  by  means  of 
the  special  technique  of  psycho-analysis; 
or  which  arise  spontaneously  in  dreams, 
psychoneurotic  symptoms,  or  the  various 
symptomatic  actions  of  e very-day  life. 
The  unconscious  contains  nothing  that  has 
not  been  learned,  thought,  or  experienced. 



Unconscious  mental  processes  are  not  mere 
physiological  nerve  activities  but  are  psy- 
chically active  and  dynamic;  in  fact,  they 
have  all  attributes  of  normal  thinking  but 
lack  the  sense  of  awareness.  These  pro- 
cesses remain  unconscious,  because  they 
are  prevented  from  reaching  consciousness 
through  a  force  termed  resistance.  This 
resistance,  which  it  is  impossible  at  this 
point  to  describe  in  detail,  is  of  great  im- 
portance in  the  analysis  of  dreams  and  in 
the  psycho-analytic  treatment  of  func- 
tional nervous  disturbances.  Only  thoughts 
which  are  emotionally  painful  or  disagree- 
able, and  which  we  have  repressed  either 
in  adult  or  childhood  life,  tend  to  remain 
in  the  unconscious. 

Thus  unconscious  thoughts  may  be  re- 
pressed not  only  in  the  acts  and  thinking 
of  every-day  adult  life,  but  also  in  our 
childhood,  the  latter  forming  what  is  known 
as  the  infantile  unconscious.  This  infan- 
tile unconscious  is  pf  great  psychological 



and  practical  importance,  because  in  it 
the  thoughts  are  so  deeply  buried  by  the 
resistances  imposed  through  our  mental 
and  moral  development  that  it  becomes 
very  difficult  of  access.  It  is,  however, 
clearly  revealed  in  certain  typical  dreams, 
such  as  the  dream  of  the  death  of  one  of 
our  parents  or  the  dream  of  being  dressed 
in  insufficient  clothing.  Such  dreams  re- 
veal our  infantile  unconscious  and  there- 
fore our  childhood  wishes,  although  the 
exact  memory  for  these  wishes  apparently 
may  have  vanished  long  since.  It  is  such 
wishes  from  the  infantile  unconscious,  that 
also  reveal  themselves  in  many  nervous 
symptoms  of  adult  life,  such  as  fears,  obses- 
sions, and  hysterical  symptoms.  In  fact, 
upon  analysis  nearly  all  dreams  will  be 
found  to  contain  some  elements  from  the 
infantile  unconscious  or  highly  tinged  by  it. 
The  latent  (unconscious)  thoughts  which 
motivate  a  dream  are  furthermore  compli- 
cated by  our  conscious  thoughts  and  also 



by  daily  instigators  or  physical  discomforts 
arising  during  sleep.  However  cleverly  or 
completely  we  may  decipher  or  analyze 
these,  if  the  unconscious  thoughts  are  not 
reached  and  laid  bare,  we  can  never  fathom 
the  real  meaning  of  the  dream,  because  it 
is  the  unconscious  which  makes  the  dream, 
although  the  unconscious  may  be  thrown 
into  activity  by  conscious  thoughts  or 
organic  stimuli.  Since  the  only  function 
of  the  unconscious  is  wishing  or  desiring, 
the  dream  as  a  wish  fulfillment  can  never 
be  completely  understood  until  we  have 
these  unconscious  thoughts  in  our  posses- 
sion. Dreams  are  therefore  the  royal  road, 
in  fact,  the  easiest  road,  to  a  knowledge  of 
our  unconscious  mental  life. 

Thus  the  unconscious  contains  not  only 
recent  experiences,  but  likewise  impressions 
of  infantile  or  childhood  life,  all  of  which 
are  actively  and  dynamically  functioning 
like  conscious  processes.  The  unconscious 
is  therefore  the  great  repository  of  our  men- 



tal  life ;  in  it  are  contained  thoughts  and 
wishes  which  may  be  foreign  to  our  per- 
sonaKty,  to  our  moral  or  ethical  nature, 
thoughts  which  we  constantly  and  appar- 
ently successfully  repress,  but  which  inad- 
vertently and  to  our  surprise  suddenly  crop 
out  as  symptomatic  actions,  psychoneurotic 
symptoms,  or  dreams.  All  functional  ner- 
vous disturbances,  dreams,  and  slips  of 
the  pen  or  tongue  are  motivated  by  uncon- 
scious mental  processes,  of  which  they  are 
the  symbolic  expression.  The  unconscious 
is  a  kind  of  limbo  of  seemingly  forgotten 
groups  of  thoughts  or  complexes,  which 
are  constantly  striving  to  reach  conscious- 
ness and  are  just  as  persistently  rejected 
by  the  repressive  action  of  the  censor. 
But  frequently  the  censor  nods  and  is 
caught  unawares,  the  repressed  wish  slips 
through  in  the  form  of  a  dream,  and  we  are 
repeatedly  surprised  to  discover  how  primi- 
tive, how  selfish  and  savage,  may  be  our 
unconscious   desires.     Accordingly   dreams 



reveal,  either  in  a  literal  or  symbolized  form, 
our  unconscious,  which  is  our  true  mental 
life,  and  not  our  outward  activities,  which 
are  changed  by  the  conventionalities  of 
society.  As  a  heritage  of  our  long  ances- 
tral line  from  primitive  man,  there  remains 
in  all  of  us  something  of  the  barbarian 
and  savage,  which  has  become  repressed 
and  veneered  by  the  refinements  of  culture 
and  civilization.  It  is  in  the  unconscious, 
where  we  have  repressed  it,  that  we  find 
the  traces  of  our  savage  ancestry.  The 
unconscious  is  barbaric  and  primitive  in 
its  elements  and  likewise  unethical,  because 
ethical  interpretations  of  motives  occur 
only  in  states  of  advanced  civilization. 
Thus  the  unconscious  contains  not  only 
our  adult  and  infantile  characteristics,  but 
the  emotions  of  the  childhood  of  the  human 
race  as  well.  As  I  have  previously  ex- 
pressed it,^  the  value  of  the  analytic  method 

^  Isador  H.  Coriat,  "A  Contribution  to  the  Psychopathology 
of  Hysteria,"  Journal  Abnormal  Psychology,  vol.  IV,  no.  1,  1911. 



lies  in  the  fact  that  through  it  one  is  able 
to  discover  repressed  material  and  thus 
establish  a  definite  psychological  connec- 
tion between  symptoms  and  repressed  ex- 
periences. The  entire  psychical  complex 
may  be  constructed  through  the  data 
furnished  by  psycho-analysis.  All  the 
heterogeneous  material  consequently  falls 
into  certain  law  and  order.  It  is  here 
that  the  great  value  of  Freud's  work  lies : 
in  demonstrating  that  mind  is  a  dynamic 
phenomenon,  and  that  its  manifestations 
follow  definite  laws  of  cause  and  effect,  as 
in  the  physical  world.  The  unconscious 
thus  becomes  a  symbol,  a  working  hypoth- 
esis, in  the  same  manner  that  certain  math- 
ematical signs  are  symbols,  or  the  physical 
conception  of  an  all-pervading  ether. 

Thus  the  existence  of  the  unconscious 
is  the  result  of  a  repression,  and  the  uncon- 
scious consists  wholly  of  repressed  material. 
For  instance,  certain  ethical  or  moral 
standards  may  conflict  with  the  individual's 


personality  and  it  is  exactly  these  stand- 
ards which  undergo  the  process  of  repres- 
sion. Such  standards  are  of  the  nature  of 
wishes  which  are  constantly  striving  for 
real  gratification  in  every-day  life,  or  in 
psychoneurotic  symptoms  and  for  imagi- 
nary gratification  in  dreams.  The  fact 
that  these  standards  are  repressed  is  the 
most  convincing  proof  of  their  existence. 
The  so-called  New  England  conscience  is 
one  of  the  best  examples  of  repression. 

This  repression  of  emotions  at  the  same 
time'  admits  their  reality  by  trying  to 
avoid  and  negate  them.  The  effort  of 
these  repressed  emotions  to  find  an  outlet 
leads  to  all  forms  of  nervous  invalidism 
such  as  so-called  nervous  prostration  and 
various  types  of  morbid  fears.  Such  indi- 
viduals externally  appear  cold  and  austere, 
apparently  emotionless,  and  lacking  all 
essentials  of  human  feeling,  yet  their  dreams 
show  various  degrees  of  forbidden  desires 
which  only  in  this  manner  come  to  expres- 



sion.  Conditions  like  these  teach  us  that 
we  are  all  emotional  volcanoes,  and  when 
we  pride  ourselves  on  having  subdued  our 
emotions  and  on  not  yielding  to  so-called 
vulgar  feelings  and  temptations,  neverthe- 
less it  is  certain  that,  hidden  within  the 
depths  of  our  unconscious,  these  repressed 
desires  are  as  potent  and  active  as  though 
they  assailed  every  second  of  our  conscious 


Chapter  V 
The  Mechanism  of  Dreams 

AFTER  having  analyzed  the  dream 
given  in  the  second  chapter  and 
shown  how  an  apparently  mean- 
ingless jumble  can  be  reduced  to  law  and 
order,  we  are  now  prepared  to  discuss  the 
various  dream  mechanisms  of  which  hints 
have  already  been  given.  In  a  psycho- 
analysis we  find  that  the  dream  thoughts 
have  undergone  a  series  of  different  dis- 
tortions, to  disguise  the  dream  for  the 
purpose  of  protecting  the  sleeper.  These 
different  distortions  by  means  of  which 
the  manifest  dream-content  is  formed  from 
the  underlying  dream  thoughts,  are  known 
as  dream  mechanisms, 

A  dream-analysis,  as  shown  in  the  pre- 
vious chapter,  gives  us  a  method  of  pene- 
tration and  a  deep  insight  into  the  uncon- 



scious  mental  life.  The  dream  work  is  a 
kind  of  shorthand,  a  chemical  formula,  by 
means  of  which  the  dream  material  is 
compressed  or  condensed.  The  formation 
of  the  dream  from  the  latent  dream  thoughts 
is  due  to  several  mechanisms,  each  of  which 
will  be  discussed  in  turn.  These  mechan- 
isms are  condensation,  displacement,  drama- 
tization, secondary  elaboration,  and  rein- 

1.  The  Content  of  Dreams.  The  con- 
tent of  dreams  consists  of  many  complicated 
ideas,  and  there  is  a  constant  tendency  in 
the  minds  of  the  uninitiated  to  confuse  the 
matter  of  the  dream  itself  and  the  thoughts 
out  of  which  the  dream  is  woven.  It  has 
already  been  amply  demonstrated  that  the 
dream  is  not  an  isolated,  chance  phe- 
nomenon which  takes  place  during  sleep; 
but  behind  it,  hidden  in  the  same  way  that 
the  movements  of  marionettes  are  hidden, 
lies  the  motive  power  of  the  unconscious. 
It  is  this  motive  power  which  distorts  the 



dream,  makes  it  unrecognizable,  and  hides 
the  wish.  Now  what  is  it  that  hes  behind 
the  dream;  what  is  the  material  out  of 
which  the  dream  is  woven?  When  this 
is  once  deciphered,  what  relation  do  these 
hidden  thoughts  bear  to  the  dream  itself? 
The  unconscious  thoughts  which  are 
hidden  from  the  dreamer  and  make  the 
dream  are  termed  the  latent  content.  This 
latent  content  can  only  be  revealed 
through  a  psycho-analysis.  The  dream 
itself  is  the  result  of  a  long  and  complicated 
unconscious  mental  process,  which  com- 
presses, displaces,  and  disguises  the  latent 
content.  This  changed  latent  content  is 
the  dream  as  it  is  remembered  on  awaken- 
ing, and  to  this  remembered  dream  the 
term  manifest  content  is  applied.  The 
manifest  content  is  produced  directly 
by  the  dream  thoughts.  These  dream 
thoughts,  for  the  specific  purpose  of  ful- 
filling the  wish  of  the  dream,  may  undergo 
all  sorts  of  new  combinations  and  arrange- 



ments.  The  manifest  dream  is  a  conscious 
process,  but  the  dream  itself  is  made  in  the 
unconscious  and  enters  as  a  finished  prod- 
uct into  consciousness. 

2.  Condensation  of  Dreams.  In  the 
process  of  condensation,  the  manifest  content 
of  the  dream  represents  a  number  of  dream 
thoughts  or  instigators,  because  the  dream 
material  is  compressed  or  condensed.  It  is 
for  this  reason,  when  a  particular  dream 
or  dream  element  is  analyzed,  we  find 
that  the  dream  material  (both  unconscious 
thoughts  and  instigators)  is  far  more  exten- 
sive and  of  more  intricate  construction  than 
the  dream  itself.  Thus  the  purpose  of  con- 
densation, which  is  really  a  kind  of  fusion, 
is  to  express  similarity  or  identity  between 
several  elements  of  the  dream  thoughts, 
and  from  this  it  follows  that  the  special 
dream  thoughts  which  enter  into  the  con- 
densation become  disguised  by  this  con- 
densing process.  Furthermore,  this  com- 
pression   also    protects    the    sleeper    from 



being  awakened  by  the  multiplicity  of 
dream  thoughts  and  instigators  which 
pour  into  consciousness.  Thus  the  dream 
thoughts,  by  being  condensed,  create  some- 
thing new,  because  the  dream  elements 
represent  a  series  of  dream  thoughts. 

The  dream  is  a  highly  visualized  product 
like  the  cinematograph,  and  like  it  too, 
it  is  constantly  in  motion.  Just  as,  behind 
the  limited  area  of  the  motion  picture  as 
projected  on  the  screen,  there  may  be  many 
feet  of  film,  of  which  the  moving  picture 
as  seen  is  merely  the  condensed  product, 
so  the  dream  picture  is  the  condensed  prod- 
uct of  a  long  series  of  dream  thoughts 
which  lie  behind  it.  Each  dream  element 
is  therefore  over-determined  by  a  multi- 
plicity of  dream  thoughts ;  that  is :  one 
dream  thought  represents  a  whole  series 
of  dream  elements.  This  is  well  seen  in 
the  following  fragmentary  dream :  He 
seemed  to  be  walking  in  the  street  with  a 
girl  whom  he  did  not  recognize. 



This  dream  is  very  short  and  condensed 
(over-determined),  but  note  how  complex 
when  analyzed.  The  face  of  the  girl  in 
the  dream  was  a  condensation  of  several 
male  and  female  friends,  viz. : 

A.  A  girl  with  whom  he  is  in  love. 

B.  A  recent  female  acquaintance. 

C.  One  of  his  boy  pupils  in  the  school 
where  he  taught. 

D.  A  portrait  of  an  actress. 

Thus  these  multiple  dream  elements, 
A  —  B  —  C  —  D,  have  been  condensed  into 
one  face  as  follows : 

Figure  I.  —  Diagram  Illustrating  the  Process  of  Conden- 
sation IN  A  Dream 



The  unconscious  has  probably  no  con- 
ception of  time,  because  repressed  experi- 
ences and  wishes  of  the  past  and  present 
may  be  fused  and  condensed  into  a  single 
dream  picture. 

3.  Displacement  in  Dreams.  The 
most  important  element  of  the  dream  may 
stand  in  the  foreground  and  yet  possess 
the  least  value  of  all  the  dream  elements; 
and  conversely,  an  apparently  trivial  ele- 
ment may  represent  the  most  vital  and  im- 
portant part  of  the  dream.  This  process 
is  termed  displacement,  and  it  is  this 
mechanism  which  more  than  all  others 
explains  the  bizarre  character  of  dreams. 
Thus  the  dream  thoughts  and  also  the 
emotional  quality  of  the  dream  become 
transposed.  Sometimes  displacement  is 
for  the  definite  purpose  of  expressing  a 
concealed  wish,  whose  real  meaning  can 
be  ascertained  only  through  analysis.  For 
instance,  a  young  woman  dreamed  that 
she  was  in  a  strange  room,  and  two  pretty 



blond  children,  whom  she  did  not  recognize, 
referred  to  her  as  "Bella,"  whereas  her  real 
name  was  "Delia."  An  analysis  of  this 
dream  gave  the  following  free  associations : 
Bella  —  beautiful  —  Bella  Donna  —  beau- 
tiful woman."  Therefore  this  dream  dis- 
placement of  the  letter  "B"  for  "D", 
changing  Delia  to  Bella,  expressed  the  usual 
feminine  wish  to  be  prettier  than  she  really 

The  construction  of  the  manifest  content 
out  of  the  multiple  dream  thoughts  is  due 
to  the  process  of  what  is  termed  the  work 
of  the  dream  or  the  dream  making.  Be- 
cause most  dreams  are  visual  pictures,  the 
action  may  become  very  complex  and  in 
constant  movement,  resembling  a  cinemato- 
graph. This  mechanism  is  termed  drama- 

4.  Elaboration  of  Dreams.  This 
usually  arises  from  the  more  conscious 
mental  processes.  In  other  words,  the 
dream  is  disposed  of  as  a  dream,  it  is  criti- 



cized  by  the  sleeper  as  diflferent  from 
reality,  because  of  the  thought  which  so 
often  arises:  "Why,  it  is  only  a  dream!" 
This  thought  either  reinforces  the  primary 
wish  of  the  dream  or  neutralizes  it  and  thus 
offsets  its  primary  motive.  In  dreams  of 
horror,  this  secondary  elaboration,  as  a  con- 
cession to  the  sleeper,  may  be  a  protective 
mechanism.  For  instance,  a  nightmare 
may  take  place,  and  instead  of  awaken- 
ing the  sleeper,  it  may  be  recognized  as  only 
a  dream,  and  the  sleep  go  on  undisturbed. 
Thus  it  is  but  a  step  from  this  to  the 
mechanism  of  reinforcement,  in  which  the 
prominent  or  primary  wish  of  the  dream  is 
reinforced,  expressed  anew  for  the  purpose 
of  emphasis  by  means  of  a  second  dream 
following  the  first,  really  a  dream  within 
a  dream. 

5.  Dreams  within  Dreams.  This 
brings  us  to  the  interesting  subject  of 
dreams  within  dreams,  which  is  really  a 
variation  of  secondary  elaboration,  a  type 



of  the  mechanism  of  reinforcement  for  the 
purpose  of  emphasizing  the  dream  wish 
or  expressing  it  anew.  In  a  way,  a  dream 
within  a  dream  is  a  mirror  picture  seen 
in  a  mirror.  Sometimes  it  takes  the  form 
of  the  reahzation  that  the  process  is  only 
a  dream;  on  other  and  more  rare  occa- 
sions, the  dream  may  be  a  self-interpreted 

As  an  example  of  the  former  process,  a 
young  man  dreamed  that  he  received  a 
telegram  announcing,  to  his  profound  shock 
and  surprise,  that  his  mother  was  dead. 
In  the  dream,  he  jotted  this  fact  down, 
saying  to  himself  that  he  was  told  by  his 
physician  to  keep  a  record  of  his  dreams. 
The  second  portion  of  the  dream,  in  which 
he  realized  that  the  first  part  was  merely 
a  dream  to  be  recorded  and  analyzed,  is  a 
type  of  a  negative  wish :  in  other  words, 
the  censor  has  informed  him  that  he  merely 
dreamed  the  receipt  of  the  telegram,  and 
the  news  was  not  true  at  all.     Thus   the 



first  part  of  the  dream  is  neutralized  and 
rendered  invalid  by  the  second  portion. 

On  other  occasions,  the  second  part  of 
the  dream  appears  under  the  guise  or  form 
of  an  actual  analysis  of  the  first  part  of  the 
dream,  and  in  the  few  instances  in  which 
this  process  has  been  encountered  by  me, 
the  analysis  used  in  the  dream  was  the 
very  analysis  which  the  subject  desired  to 
be  made  of  the  dream.  In  other  words, 
the  analysis  reinforced  the  wish  concealed 
within  the  first  part  of  the  dream. 

An  example  is  the  following :  ^ 

Dream.  The  dreamer  appeared  to  be 
in  a  cemetery.  Many  open  caskets  were 
visible,  and  in  these  caskets  were  moulder- 
ing bodies.  Then  the  scene  seemed  to 
shift  to  my  office,  and  he  related  the  dream 
to  me  in  all  its  details.  After  he  had 
finished,  I  laughed  and  remarked  that  such 
a  dream  was  not  difficult  to  analyze  and 

1  Only  the  outlines  of  this  extremely  interesting  and  complex 
dream  are  given,  as  the  details  would  lead  into  psychological  dis- 
cussions beyond  the  scope  of  this  book. 



then  analyzed  the  entire  dream,  according 
to  the  technical  methods  used  in  dream 

Under  these  conditions  the  question 
arises :  is  the  self -analysis  in  the  dream  a 
true  analysis,  such  as  would  be  made  by 
the  physician,  or  a  wished-for  analysis  of 
the  dreamer  from  his  own  conscious 
thoughts  and  projected  on  to  the  personal- 
ity of  the  physician?  It  developed  that 
the  latter  was  the  true  interpretation; 
that  is :  the  analysis  in  the  dream  was  the 
analysis  desired  and  not  the  interpretation 
that  would  be  given  under  analysis  in  the 
waking  condition.  In  other  words,  the 
unconscious  wishes  of  the  subject  were 
reinforced  by  the  second  portion  of  the 
dream  in  which  the  analysis  appeared. 

Another  pretty  example  of  a  dream  within 
a  dream  is  the  following  one  of  a  young 
woman : 

Dream.  It  appeared  that  she  had  sent 
a   letter   of   congratulation   to   a   woman, 



whose  son's  betrothal  had  been  recently 
announced.  Then  she  felt  that  the  letter 
had  been  incorrectly  addressed  and  that  it 
would  never  reach  her.  At  this  point  she 
became  conscious  of  the  fact  that  she  was 
only  dreaming. 

Analysis.  At  one  time  in  the  past  a 
love  affair  had  developed  between  the 
subject  and  the  friend  who  figured  in  the 
dream.  She  had  not  seen  him  for  a  year 
or  two,  as  business  affairs  had  compelled  him 
to  reside  in  another  city,  and  yet  during  all 
this  time  the  feeling  of  affection  remained. 
On  the  day  of  the  dream,  she  had  read  in 
the  newspaper  of  his  betrothal,  much  to 
her  painful  surprise  and  disappointment. 
A  congratulation  was  what  would  have 
naturally  followed,  as  she  felt  that  in  the 
event  of  his  betrothal,  she  had  become 
persona  non  grata  with  him.  In  the  dream, 
such  a  letter  of  congratulation  was  written, 
but  the  wrong  address  placed  on  the 
envelope,  this  being  a  symptomatic  action 



to  express  her  disapproval  of  the  whole 
affair  and  therefore  an  unconscious  desire 
to  withhold  rather  than  offer  her  congrat- 
ulations. The  wrong  address  had  thus 
betrayed  and  laid  bare  her  true  feelings. 
The  idea  that  it  was  "only  a  dream" 
showed  that  she  was  still  hoping  against 
hope,  that  she  was  jealous  of  the  other 
woman  and  fortified  the  wish  that  the  news 
of  the  betrothal  was  merely  a  dream  and 
not  the  reality.  Thus  the  feeling  that  she 
was  only  dreaming  robs  the  dream  of  its 
reality ;  it  expresses  a  wish  that  what  has 
occurred  in  the  dream  should  not  have 
actually  occurred. 

6.  Symbolism  of  Dreams.  Dreams  fre- 
quently contain  disguised  erotic  wishes 
and  many  phallic  symbols.  This  is  partic- 
ularly true  of  many  so-called  typical 
dreams/  such  as  the  dream  of  nakedness,  of 
the  death  of  a  parent,  or  of  dental  irritation. 

^  These  will  be  fully  discussed  in  Chapter  VIII  and  hence  need 
only  be  briefly  referred  to  here. 



I  am  not  referring  here  to  the  frank  sexual 
dreams  which  nearly  every  one  has  expe- 
rienced, but  to  the  more  highly  disguised 
and  symbolized  type  of  dreams  briefly 
referred  to  above.  The  erotic  desire  may 
be  something  retained  from  the  infantile 
or  childhood  life  and  derived  not  at  all 
from  adult  life  or  recent  experiences.  It 
is  the  repressed  infantile  desire  which  often 
appears  in  the  dream,  not  literally,  but,  as 
in  the  conventionalities  imposed  by  civih- 
zation  and  culture,  disguised  by  indirect 
means,  often  by  mere  allusions.  These 
are  the  sexual  symbols  of  dreamers,  many 
of  them  quite  complex  and  often  incom- 
prehensible until  we  trace  their  sources 
to  other  channels.  These  symbols  are  the 
same  in  all  dreams,  because  they  are  uni- 
versal, the  result  of  collective  thinking  and 
can  only  be  interpreted  like  a  hieroglyph  or 
a  cuneiform  inscription. 

The  dream  may  use  as  material  to  express 
its    symbolism   certain    recent   mechanical 



inventions,  as  in  the  following  "flying 
dream":  The  subject  dreamed  that  he 
was  on  the  edge  of  a  beautiful  valley,  in  an 
aeroplane,  flying  from  place  to  place,  with 
a  strong  sense  of  pleasure.  He  felt  de- 
lighted to  go  and  come  as  he  pleased  in 
the  dream.  This  dream  is  a  variant  of 
the  typical  flying  or  floating  dreams  which 
recur  so  frequently  as  to  be  grouped 
among  the  typical  dreams.  These  typical 
dreams  will  be  discussed  in  a  subsequent 
chapter.  It  needs  only  to  be  pointed  out 
here  that  in  the  above  case  the  aeroplane 
was  used  as  material  to  express  the  under- 
lying symbolism  of  such  a  flying  dream, 
which  in  its  essence  meant  a  wish  to  be  free 
from  all  social  restraint,  to  do  as  one 

7.  The  Censor  and  Psychical  Re- 
pression. The  conservation  of  ideas  and 
memories  in  the  unconscious  and  their 
later  appearance  in  a  dream  is  seen  in  the 
following  interesting  number  dream: 



The  subject  was  shown  a  white  sheet  of 
paper,  and  on  it  were  two  rows  of  figures 
as  in  statistical  tables,  viz. : 

331  133 

331  133 

331  133 

She  said  in  the  dream  to  some  one  :  "Which 
is  it  — 133  or  331?" 

On  awakening  from  the  dream,  she  could 
not  recall  what  the  numbers  signified. 

Analysis.  A  couple  of  days  previously, 
the  subject  became  interested  in  calculat- 
ing machines  with  their  rows  of  numbers. 
This  acted  as  the  dream  instigator.  A 
young  woman  friend  had  been  recently 
married,  and  she  was  planning  to  send  her 
a  wedding  present.  The  number  of  the 
street  on  which  the  bride  lived  had  been 
told  her  on  two  occasions,  but  she  was  in 
an  abstract,  inattentive  condition  when  in- 
formed. Later  on,  while  attempting  to 
recall  the  number,  she  could  not,  try  as 
she    would.     She    had    selected    a    pretty 



Japanese  picture  for  the  present,  but  after 
selecting  it,  she  felt  that  she  really  wanted 
the  picture  for  herself,  as  it  was  rather 
rare,  and  she  was  therefore  not  especially 
desirous  of  sending  the  present  to  the  bride. 
Thus  this  disturbing  complex  acted  in  such 
a  way  as  to  prevent  the  conserved  but 
unconscious  number  from  reaching  con- 
sciousness. The  number  was  really  there, 
but  on  account  of  the  disturbing  complex 
it  could  not  be  recalled,  and  yet  consciously 
she  strongly  wished  to  remember  the  num- 
ber. On  awakening  from  the  dream,  it 
was  impossible  to  tell  what  the  numbers 
signified  or  connect  them  with  the  wedding 
present,  thus  demonstrating  that  the  dis- 
turbing complex  was  at  work  both  when 
asleep  and  awake.  Then  again  she  asked 
the  same  person:  "Where  does  she  live.f^" 
and  the  reply  came:  "I  told  you  twice 
yesterday,  but  you  were  not  paying  much 
attention  to  me ;  it  was  Thirty-three  Blank 



It  will  be  noticed  now  that  the  number 
of  the  street  was  disguised  in  the  dream  by 
being  placed  in  two  rows  of  three  (a  symbol- 
ization  of  the  real  number)  and  by  having 
one  placed  before  and  after  the  real  number. 
This  disguise  was  for  the  deliberate  yet 
unconscious  purpose  of  preventing  the  sub- 
ject from  recalling  the  number,  even  in  a 
dream,  because  the  subject  did  not  really 
wish  to  give  the  present  selected,  but 
wanted  to  keep  the  special  gift  for  herself 
on  account  of  its  uniqueness.  This  caused  a 
resistance  in  reproducing  the  number  both 
while  asleep  and  awake,  although  the 
number  was  actually  registered  and  con- 
served. Now  what  made  this  resistance; 
what  was  its  ultimate  purpose;  and  what 
was  gained  by  it  ?  How  was  the  instigator 
or  the  source  of  the  dream  material  (in 
this  case  the  calculating  machines)  able  to 
set  into  activity  the  unconscious  wish  to 
remember  the  number,  and  why  was  it 
not*  definitely  remembered  ?    Why  was  it 



disguised?  The  answer  to  these  questions 
opens  up  the  discussion  of  a  very  important 
factor  in  all  dreams,  termed  the  censor  or 
the  censorship  of  consciousness  and  the 
theory  of  psychical  repression. 

The  entire  subject  of  psychical  repression 
is  one  of  great  importance,  not  only  in 
dreams  and  in  the  development  of  psycho- 
neurotic symptoms,  but  likewise  in  every- 
day life,  as  a  defence  of  the  mind  to  neu- 
tralize our  unwelcome  and  unpleasant 
thoughts.  In  analyzing  a  dream,  for  in- 
stance, groups  of  thoughts  will  suddenly 
crop  out  which  surprise  us,  thoughts  which 
carry  with  themselves  an  unpleasant  emo- 
tion and  seem  foreign  to  our  personality. 
When  we  arrive  at  these  thoughts,  we  at- 
tempt to  push  them  back,  because  they  are 
out  of  harmony  with  our  conscious  feelings, 
but  once  they  have  fully  obtruded  into 
consciousness,  they  tend  to  remain  there. 
These  are  the  repressed  thoughts  which  in 
the  past  we  have  pushed  into  the  uncon- 



scious,  and  are  wishes  and  desires  whose  na- 
ture is  such  that  they  act  as  intruders  to  the 
normal  course  of  thinking  or  are  unaccept- 
able to  our  moral  or  ethical  standards ; 
hence  the  constant  attempt  to  conceal 
them  and  to  push  them  out  of  the  conscious 
into  the  unconscious.  This  process  of  re- 
pression is  not  always  voluntary,  but  may 
be  an  involuntary  act  as  well,  in  order  to 
protect  the  mind  from  ideas  and  feelings 
which  are  unpleasant  and  painful. 

When  thoughts  have  been  made  uncon- 
scious through  repression,  a  certain  force 
or  resistance  must  be  overcome  before 
such  unconscious  thoughts  can  again  be- 
come conscious.  This  resistance  is  a  de- 
fensive action  of  the  mind  and  the  distortion, 
disguise,  fusion,  or  symbolic  expression 
which  take  place  in  a  dream  is  due  to  the 
force  exerted  by  this  resistance,  which  is 
termed  the  censor.  The  feeling  that  per- 
haps we  have  dreamed  a  great  deal  more 
than  we  remember  is  probably  based  upon 



a  vague  memory  of  the  latent  thoughts 
of  the  dream,  which  have  been  prevented 
from  fully  reaching  consciousness  through 
the  force  exerted  by  this  censor. 

Since  the  purpose  of  the  censor  is  to  pre- 
vent certain  registered  memories  from  be- 
coming conscious,  it  follows  that  in  the 
number  dream  analyzed  this  censor  was  at 
work  as  a  kind  of  unconscious  resistance. 
There  was  a  constant  repression  of  the  real 
number  into  the  unconscious,  because  for 
selfish  motives  the  subject  did  not  actually 
care  to  remember  the  number.  In  every  way 
the  numbers  thirty -three  were  disguised,  first 
by  placing  another  figure  before  and  after 
each  number,  and  secondly  by  grouping 
the  numbers.  It  will  be  noticed,  however, 
that  the  other  figures,  when  added,  formed 
each  a  group  of  threes,  giving  rise  to  the 
number  thirty-three,  and  secondly,  the 
grouping  of  the  figures  themselves  was  in 
threes,  again  giving  the  number  thirty- 
three.     In  the  dream  the  disguise  was  so 



successful,  due  to  the  repression,  that  the 
subject  failed  to  penetrate  this  disguise  or 
in  any  way  to  guess  at  the  symbolism  of  the 
numbers.  Thus  this  dream  becomes  a 
wish  fulfilled;  the  censor  has  triumphed; 
the  wish  to  forget  the  number  has  been 

But  sometimes  the  censor  is  weak;  cer- 
tain latent  dream  thoughts  or  emotions 
succeed  in  escaping  its  vigilance,  and  the 
dream  may  then  be  accompanied  by  dis- 
tressing emotions,  giving  rise  to  the  so- 
called  nightmares  or  anxiety  dreams.  The 
subject  then  will  suddenly  awaken  with  a 
sense  of  terror  and  anxiety,  the  mental 
state  having  the  usually  physiological  ac- 
companiments of  cold  sweating  and  rapid 
heart-beat.  The  dreams  of  suffocation,  of 
being  nailed  down  in  a  coffin  and  struggling 
to  get  out,  are  instances  in  question.  In 
other  cases,  just  as  the  subject  is  falling 
asleep,  he  will  awaken  each  time  with  a 
momentary  vivid  dream  of  being  pursued, 



of  choking,  inability  to  breathe,  etc.  Of 
course  these  types  of  dreams  are  continual 
disturbers  of  sleep  and  lead  to  insomnia, 
because  the  unconscious,  repressed  emo- 
tions are  continually  escaping  the  censor, 
without  disguise  or  fusion,  and  so  lead  to 
a  state  of  constant  morbid  anxiety  in  the 
mind  of  the  sleeper.  A  marked  example 
from  a  case  of  anxiety  hysteria  is  the  fol- 
lowing dramatic  dream. 

Dream.  It  seemed  as  though  a  man  who 
was  angry  with  the  dreamer  had  thrown 
her  into  a  large  tank  of  water  and  held  her 
head  under  the  water  until  she  drowned. 
During  all  this  time,  he  was  laughing  and 
jesting  and  seemed  to  enjoy  her  struggles 
in  her  endeavor  to  save  herself  and  escape 
from  the  tank.  There  was  a  constant, 
horrible,  suffocating  feeling  as  though  she 
were  bound  down.  It  appeared  as  though 
she  were  upright  in  the  water,  and  the  man 
held  his  hand  over  her  head,  forcing  it  to 
remain  beneath  the  surface  of  the  water, 



so  that  she  could  not  breathe.  She  kept 
one  arm  elevated  above  the  surface  of  the 
water,  and  the  man  kept  pressing  her  head 
downward  until  her  arm  dropped  limp. 
There  was  an  intense  sensation  of  drowning, 
an  unpleasant  suffocation  and  struggling 
with  great  fear,  breathlessness,  eyes  shut, 
fighting,  finally  absolute  inability  to 
breathe.  Then  she  saw  herself  dead  and 
floating  beneath  the  surface  of  the  water 
and  awoke  in  terror. 

Analysis.  This  is  a  typical  anxiety 
dream  due  to  the  same  repressed  emotions 
which  caused  the  subject's  hysteria,  and 
an  analysis  of  such  dreams,  of  which  the 
subject  had  many,  finally  led  to  an  un- 
covering of  these  repressed  emotions. 
During  the  day,  the  repressed  emotions  in 
trying  to  escape  produced  the  hysterical 
symptoms ;  and  during  the  night,  similar 
repressions  led  to  the  anxiety  dreams. 
Of  course,  such  a  dream  is  full  of  other 
symbols  which  it  is  unnecessary  to  relate 



here.  The  instigators  of  the  dream  which 
set  the  unconscious  anxiety  into  activity, 
but  which  in  themselves  could  not  produce 
such  a  dream  unless  the  unconscious  anxiety 
were  present,  were  two,  namely : 

(1)  Several  nights  previously  the  sub- 
ject had  seen  a  dramatic  representation  of 
the  Arabian  Nights,  in  one  scene  of  which 
a  man  was  thrown  into  a  tank  and  his  head 
held  under  the  water  until  he  was  drowned, 
the  hand  of  the  drowning  man  meanwhile 
holding  on  to  the  edge  of  the  tank  until  the 
grasp  slowly  relaxed. 

(2)  A  few  days  previously  she  had  read 
Maupassant's  "Le  Horla,"  in  which  an 
attack  of  nocturnal  anxiety  (nightmare)  is 
vividly  described. 

It  was  these  two  instigators  which  entered 
into  the  intense  and  vivid  dramatization 
of  the  dream,  and  which  set  the  unconscious 
machinery  of  the  dream,  in  the  form  of 
repressed  feelings,  into  motion.  The  dream 
was  not  a  literal  repetition  of  the  instiga- 



tors,  but  there  was  a  rearranged  emotional 
process.  The  latent  content  of  the  dream 
was  the  repressed  emotions;  the  manifest 
content  was  a  dramatization  of  the  dream 
instigators.  The  night  terrors  of  children, 
while  they  may  be  instigated  by  digestive 
disturbances,  are  due  to  the  same  mechan- 
ism of  a  psychical  repression  of  certain 
emotions  into  the  unconscious,  attempting 
to  find  an  escape.  This  was  clearly  seen 
in  some  analyses  of  hysteria  in  children.^ 

Sometimes  a  wish  repressed  into  the  un- 
conscious may  cause  dreams  in  which 
symptomatic  acts  occur  —  such  as  in  the 
previously  analyzed  dream  of  placing  the 
wrong  address  on  an  envelope — in  much  the 
same  way  as  in  every-day  life.  Superfi- 
cially such  acts  seem  to  be  done  accidentally 
or  by  chance,  but  an  analysis  of  such  acts 
shows  that  they  represent  the  expression 
of  a   concealed   and   repressed   wish,  —  in 

^  Isador  H.  Coriat,  "Some  Hysterical  Mechanisms  in  Chil- 
dren," Journal  Abnormal  Psychology,  1914,  vol.   IX,  nos.   2-3. 



other  words  they  are  motivated  by  desires 
of  which  the  person  is  unaware.  A  young 
woman  for  instance  had  the  following 
dream : 

Dream.  She  seemed  to  be  walking  in 
the  street  with  her  sister  and  was  idly 
playing  with  a  ring  on  her  finger,  moving 
it  thoughtlessly  back  and  forth,  apparently 
"just  to  keep  my  hands  busy."  Finally 
she  came  to  a  pile  of  shavings,  and  the 
ring  accidentally  fell  in  this  pile,  so  that  she 
could  not  find  it. 

Analysis.  This  dream  represented  a 
wish  of  the  subject.  She  actually  possessed 
such  a  ring,  which  she  had  not  really  lost. 
This  ring  was  a  graduation  gift,  and  en- 
graved on  the  inside  was  the  date  of  her 
graduation  from  college.  She  had  often 
feared  that  if  this  date  were  known  to 
others,  it  would  betray  her  age,  which,  for 
family  reasons  and  because  she  contem- 
plated marriage,  she  was  anxious  to  con- 
ceal.    She  had  often  felt  that  she  would 



like  to  lose  the  ring  or  "accidentally"  mis- 
place it,  thus  more  effectively  preventing 
an  attempt  to  discover  her  age.     For  cer- 



Figure  II. — Diagram  Illustrating  the  Making  of  a 


In  the  unconscious  (B)  are  contained  the  mass  of  repressed 
memories  and  wishes  {E,  H,  F).  These  repressed  mental  pro- 
cesses in  the  unconscious  are  kept  from  entering  consciousness 
{A)  through  the  resistance  exerted  by  the  censor  (C).  This 
censor  is  active  during  sleep  and  guards  the  portal  going  from 



tain  reasons,  she  could  neither  afford  to 
lose  the  ring,  nor  carry  out  her  wish  of  mis- 
placing it.  So  in  the  dream,  the  wish  to 
lose  the  ring  is  actually  fulfilled.  Under 
such  conditions,  the  symptomatic  action 
of  misplacing  or  losing  an  object,  which  is 
partially  beloved  and  partially  hated,  is 
completed,  not  in  actuality,  where  for 
social  reasons  it  was  impossible,  but  in  a 
dream.  See  Figure  II,  which  illustrates 
the  mechanism  of  dreaming  and  the  mak- 
ing of  a  dream. 

the  unconscious  to  the  conscious,  thus  preventing  the  emerging 
of  painful  complexes  from  the  former.  Experiences  of  the  day 
may  act  as  dream  instigators  (D)  only  if  these  experiences  are 
able  to  form  associations  and  set  into  activity  the  repressed 
wishes  which  have  become  accumulated  in  the  unconscious. 
These  repressed  wishes  (or  dream  thoughts)  thus  instigated 
become  disguised  and  condensed  before  they  are  allowed  to 
enter  consciousness  as  the  dream  itseK  (G).  The  dream  as 
related  is  the  manifest  content;  the  repressed  memories  or 
wishes  which  lie  in  the  unconscious  are  the  dream  thoughts  or 
the  latent  content  of  the  dream.  The  latent  content  is  the 
real  and  logical  mental  life,  the  manifest  content  is  the  incon- 
gruous and  absurd  dream.  The  instigator  which  sets  into  ac- 
tivity the  imconscious  wishes  and  the  manner  in  which  these 
large  groups  of  wishes  become  condensed  into  a  dream,  is  shown 
by  the  direction  of  the  arrows.  This  simple  diagram  illustrates, 
in  a  general  way,  the  complex  mechanism  of  dreams. 


Chapter  VI 
The  Function  of  Dreams 

SINCE  everybody  dreams,  and  since 
sleep  is  necessary  for  the  needed  re- 
pair of  our  physical  energies,  a  point 
of  great  practical  importance  concerns  it- 
self with  the  question:  What  is  the  use  of 
dreams  ?     What  is  gained  by  dreaming  ? 

It  can  be  shown  through  dream-analysis 
that  dreams  subserve  a  definite  function  in 
our  mental  life  in  that  they  really  act  as 
protectors  and  not  as  disturbers  of  sleep. 
This  guardianship  of  sleep  by  means  of 
dreams  is  due  to  the  persistent  dynamic 
action  of  the  censor. 

In  sleep  the  censor  is  exceedingly  active, 
and  its  function  is  to  protect  sleep  from  the 
mass  of  repressed  emotions  which  threaten 
to  overwhelm  the  sleeper  in  the  shape  of  a 



dream.  This  is  done  by  means  of  the  dream 
mechanisms  already  discussed,  in  which  the 
dream  thoughts  are  fused  and  displaced,  thus 
undergoing  such  disguise  and  symboliza- 
tion  as  to  be  unrecognizable  to  the  sleeper 
and  consequently  not  disturbing  to  him. 
When  the  censor  nods  or  is  evaded,  when 
the  literal  dream  thoughts  bombard  and 
invade  consciousness  in  an  undisguised 
form,  sleep  is  disturbed  and  insomnia  re- 

This  is  the  origin  of  many  types  of  so- 
called  functional  insomnia,  sleep  being 
troubled  by  a  series  of  anxiety  dreams. 
Only  when  the  dreams  are  completely 
analyzed,  and  the  unconscious  mental  pro- 
cesses thereby  become  stilled,  when  the 
censor  is  once  more  allowed  to  stand  guard 
over  the  portal  leading  from  the  uncon- 
scious to  the  conscious,  will  refreshing 
sleep  again  result.  Such  a  cure  can  be 
brought  about  only  through  psycho-analy- 



It  is  these  two  mechanisms  of  psychical 
repression  and  censorship  which  prevent 
the  egotistic  and  savage  wishes  of  child- 
hood from  reaching  our  daily  consciousness, 
and  which  only  occasionally  appear  in  cer- 
tain typical  dreams,  such  as  the  death  of  a 
parent  or  the  dream  of  nakedness.  These 
"typical  dreams"  will  be  taken  up  in  detail 
in  the  chapter  devoted  to  that  subject. 

Thus  the  wish  in  the  dream  need  not  be 
present  in  the  consciousness  of  the  adult 
dreamer,  but  may  have  existed  from  early 
childhood,  and  it  is  the  censor  which,  except 
on  certain  occasions,  prevents  these  un- 
conscious childhood  wishes  from  reaching 
consciousness  in  the  form  of  a  dream.  The 
dream  also  protects  sleep  by  frequently 
making  the  latent  dream  thoughts  unrec- 
ognizable, even  if  these  thoughts  should 
escape  the  censor's  vigilance.  Thus  the 
repressed  thoughts  enter  the  dream  con- 
sciousness because  of  a  disturbance  of 
what  is  called  in  international  parlance  a 



balance  of  power :  either  the  repression  is 
not  strong,  or  the  censor  is  lax  or  tem- 
porarily off  guard.  A  kind  of  a  compromise 
or  psychological  treaty  takes  place  between 
the  censor  and  the  unconscious  thoughts, 
through  which  a  certain  portion  of  the  lat- 
ter are  allowed  to  pass  into  the  dream 
consciousness.  For  instance,  in  certain 
erotic  dreams,  this  compromise  takes  place 
by  investing  the  beloved  object  with  the 
form  of  an  individual  to  whom  the  dreamer 
is  indifferent,  a  real  process,  for  the  purpose 
of  disguise,  of  both  condensation  and  dis- 

An  example  of  the  protective  function 
of  a  dream  is  the  following : 

A  highly  cultured  woman,  in  the  midst 
of  some  difficulties  with  her  husband, 
dreamed  that  she  was  lying  in  bed  asleep, 
while  her  husband  was  awake,  and  she 
laughed  sarcastically  at  him.  The  analysis 
of  this  simple  dream  revealed  an  interesting 
compromise  with  her  wishes.     In  the  dream 



she  realized  that  it  was  all  a  dream  and  not 
reality,  a  kind  of  a  reinforcement  of  the 
fact  that  it  was  nothing  but  a  dream  fan- 
tasy. Therefore,  if  it  were  a  dream,  there 
could  be  no  truth  in  their  strained  relations, 
and  the  whole  dream  revealed  the  uncon- 
scious, repressed  wish  of  the  dreamer  that 
a  reconciliation  or  welding  together  of  the 
affections  might  take  place.  If  she  laughed, 
the  laugh  signified  that  the  strained  relation 
was  all  a  joke  and  not  reality ;  in  fact,  so 
unreal  was  it  all  that  she  was  able  to  sleep 
peacefully  as  in  the  dream. 

When  we  awake  from  a  dream,  and  the 
relaxed  censor  resumes  its  sway,  the  re- 
sistance again  prevents  the  unconscious 
thoughts  from  reaching  consciousness,  and 
everything  is  once  more  repressed,  some- 
times very  rapidly  after  awakening.  It  is 
this  renewed  strength  and  activity  of  the 
censor  which  in  part  explains  the  rapid 
forgetting  of  dreams.  Forgetting  dreams, 
in  fine,  is  due  not  so  much  to  the  fact  that 



the  vagueness  of  the  dream  was  such  that 
it  left  no  traces  in  memory,  for  some  of 
the  most  intense  dreams  are  quickly  for- 
gotten and  vague  ones  persistently  remem- 
bered, but  rather  to  an  unconscious  wish  to 
forget.  Sometimes  only  a  portion  of  the 
dream  is  forgotten,  and  these  forgotten 
fragments,  which  contain  dream  material 
so  strongly  repressed  that  their  forgetting 
is  an  intentional  act,  usually  are  recalled 
during  the  course  of  a  dream-analysis, 
provided  the  resistance  is  not  too  great. 
^  Thus  the  disguised  dream  increases  the 
ability  to  sleep  peacefully,  it  quiets  the 
energy  which  would  tend  to  keep  us  awake, 
and  leads  to  those  two  great  essentials  for 
refreshing  sleep,  viz. :  relaxation  and  dis- 
interest.^ When  the  unconscious  thoughts 
continually  escape  the  censor,  either 
through   their   emotional   strength   or   due 

1  For  the  experimental  evidence  and  a  discussion  of  these  two 
essentials  of  sleep,  see  my  papers :  "The  Nature  of  Sleep,"  Journal 
of  Abnormal  Psychology,  vol.  VI,  no.  5,  and  "The  Evolution 
of  Sleep  and  Hypnosis,"  ibid.,  vol.  VII,  no.  2. 



to  a  weakness  of  the  censor,  insomnia  re- 
sults. The  treatment  of  these  types  of 
functional  insomnia,  therefore,  must  be 
by  psycho-analysis,  whose  purpose  is  to 
still  or  quiet  the  disturbing,  unconscious 
thoughts.  This  is  accomplished  by  the 
analysis  of  the  dreams,  since  the  dreams 
best  reveal  the  unconscious  and  disturbing 
emotions.  In  fact,  dream-analysis  in  these 
cases  of  insomnia  acts  like  oil  upon  the 
troubled  waters  of  the  unconscious.  Some- 
times the  sleeplessness  is  due  to  fear  or 
anxiety  on  account  of  the  distressing  dreams 
which  disturb  sleep  or  which  awaken  the 
subject  with  a  start  as  soon  as  he  falls 
asleep.  In  these  cases  the  sleeplessness  be- 
comes an  act  of  defence,  the  subject  forces 
himself  to  remain  awake  to  prevent  the 
occurrence  of  the  distressing  dreams.  It 
is  such  types  of  sleeplessness,  with  the 
resulting  emotional  tension,  which  cause 
also  severe  states  of  fatigue.  In  one 
striking  case  of  anxiety  hysteria  with  in- 



somnia,  such  a  process  as  described  above 
took  place.  As  the  dream-analysis  pro- 
ceeded, the  anxiety  dreams  gradually  dis- 
appeared, the  unconscious  emotions  were 
stilled,  and  sleep  resulted. 

This  answers  the  question  as  to  why  we 
dream  or  what  is  the  necessity  of  dream- 
ing .^^  Obviously  to  protect  sleep,  to  make 
sleep  undisturbed,  and  thus  give  us  the 
needed  rest  for  the  repair  of  our  broken- 
down  physical  and  psychical  energies.  This 
is  contrary  to  the  popular  idea  that  dreams 
disturb  sleep,  for  the  dream  is  in  reality 
the  guardian  of  sleep.  Thus  a  dream  is 
not  a  trifle,  neither  does  it  deal  with  trifles. 
It  fulfills  a  wish  of  great  personal  impor- 
tance to  the  dreamer  and  acts  as  a  kind  of 
safety  valve  for  the  successful  escape  of 
our  repressed  emotions. 

A  pretty  illustration  of  this  latter 
mechanism  was  seen  in  the  case  of  a  young 
woman,  a  sufferer  from  hysteria,  in  whom 
a  series   of  vivid   and   highly   dramatized 



dreams  occurred  very  frequently.  Sud- 
denly, without  any  apparent  cause,  the 
dreams  abruptly  ceased,  and  a  few  days 
later  she  developed  an  hysterical  delirium 
which  contained  all  the  characteristics  of 
her  previous  dream  life.  In  this  delirium, 
the  mental  condition  was  that  of  a  dreamy 
state  of  consciousness.  What  had  occurred 
was  this :  the  delirium  had  replaced  the 
dream,  because  dreaming  had  ceased,  and 
the  delirium  itself  acted  as  a  safety  valve 
for  her  repressed,  pent-up  emotions  which 
were  formerly  subserved  by  the  dream. 
Thus  the  numerous  dreams  protected  her 
sleeping  consciousness,  and  when  dreaming 
ceased,  consciousness  became  again  pro- 
tected by  the  delirium. 

Dreams  are  always  egotistic;  they  refer 
to  one's  own  person  or  some  elements  of 
one's  experience.  Sometimes,  if  the  ego 
does  not  appear  directly  in  the  dream,  it 
may  be  concealed  behind  some  other  person 
in  the  dream.     Hysteria  and  dreams,   as 



already  shown,  and  as  will  be  explained  in 
more  detail  later,  have  thus  the  same  mech- 
anism :  in  the  dream  the  repressed  emo- 
tional complexes  escape  in  the  form  of  the 
vivid  hallucination  of  the  dream  itself;  in 
hysteria  in  the  form  of  bodily  symptoms 
or  the  mental  state  of  the  hysterical  sub- 


Chapter  VII 
Dreams  of  Children  and  of  Primitive  Races 

IT  has  been  shown  in  a  previous  chapter 
that  a  dream  is  a  reaHzation  or  fulfill- 
ment of  repressed  desires  or  wishes. 
In  adults,  this  wish  is  concealed  or  symbol- 
ized in  the  manifest  content  of  the  dream, 
and  the  true  wish  can  be  discovered  only 
through  a  psycho-analysis  of  the  under- 
lying thoughts  which  give  rise  to  the  dream 
—  namely,  the  latent  content.  Even  in 
adults,  however,  the  dream  may  contain 
fragments  of  the  life  of  childhood;  in 
reality,  it  is  the  child  slumbering  in  the 
adult's  unconscious.  Thus  the  study  of 
children's  dreams  becomes  of  paramount 
importance,  not  only  in  showing  the  infan- 
tile elements  which  are  always  present  in 
the  dreams  of  adults,  but  also  as  offering 
the  best  proof  of  the  wish  theory  of  dreams. 



In  children  the  wish  is  clear,  and  with  few 
exceptions  the  latent  and  manifest  content 
are  one.  The  child's  wishes  during  the 
day  become  literally  fulfilled  in  the  dream 
at  night. 

Dreams  of  little  children,  in  fact,  accord- 
ing to  my  experience,  even  the  dreams  of 
children  up  to  ten  years  of  age,  are  simple 
fulfillments  of  wishes.^  While  children's 
dreams  present  no  specific  problem  to  be 
solved,  yet  because  of  their  simple  structure 
they  are  of  value  in  affording  an  easy  solution 
to  an  important  question  of  dream  mech- 
anisms, namely  :  why  does  the  unconscious 
furnish  the  motive  power  for  the  wish- 
fulfillment  only  during  sleep  ?  In  answer 
to  this  it  may  be  stated  that  the  conscious 
wish  is  the  dream  instigator  in  children,  as 
it  is  unfulfilled  during  the  day;  but  at 
night  it  arouses  or  activates  an  unconscious 

^  See  my  paper  on  "  Some  Hysterical  Mechanisms  in  Children," 
Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  Vol.  IX,  Nos.  2  and  3,  1914, 
where  a  number  of  examples  of  children's  dreams  are  given  and 



wish  of  a  similar  nature,  each  reinforcing 
the  other.  Since  the  child  cannot  com- 
pletely assert  its  wishes  during  the  day,  the 
fulfilled  wishes  appear  at  night  in  dreams, 
as  the  only  function  of  the  unconscious  is 
wishing.  The  censorship  of  consciousness 
also  plays  a  part  in  the  simple  wish  dreams 
of  children.  In  the  sleep  of  children,  the 
censor  is  either  very  lax  or  does  not  exist; 
if  existent,  and  the  child's  unconscious  or 
conscious  desires  are  such  that  they  are 
impossible  of  fulfillment,  a  compromise 
takes  place  between  the  demands  of  the 
child  and  the  activity  of  the  censor. 

Thus  the  most  simple  dreams  are  those 
of  children,  because  the  mental  activities 
and  desires  of  children  are  far  less  compli- 
cated and  less  difficult  to  fulfill  than  those 
of  adults.  Savages  are  also  very  childlike 
in  their  mental  activities,  and  therefore  the 
dreams  of  savages,  in  the  few  fortunate 
cases  in  which  it  has  been  possible  to  collect 
and    study    them,    strongly    resemble    the 



dreams  of  children.  It  is  only  in  children 
and  primitive  races  that  the  dream  on  the 
surface  says  what  it  means  without  dis- 
guise and  symbolization.  In  the  civilized 
adult,  too,  because  of  his  childhood  fantasies 
and  infantile  history,  we  find  either  many 
dreams  of  the  same  simple  type  as  those  of 
children,  or,  in  the  more  complex  dreams, 
an  analysis  can  demonstrate  the  desires 
of  childhood  in  addition.  So  we  can  readily 
see  from  this  that  no  matter  how  much  cul- 
ture and  mental  growth  and  social  conven- 
tionalities have  helped  to  develop  us  and 
drag  us  away  from  childhood  with  the 
advancing  years,  there  is  always  within  us, 
within  our  unconscious  mental  life,  con- 
densed and  slumbering,  our  whole  child- 
hood history.  A  wish  can  awaken  our 
sleeping  childhood,  can  activate  it,  and  it 
bursts  out  in  our  dreams.  As  Stevenson 
has  so  beautifully  described  it  in  "  Virgin- 
ibus  Puerisque": 

"For  as  the  race  of  man,  after  centuries 



of  civilization,  still  keeps  some  traits  of 
their  barbarian  fathers,  so  man  the  indi- 
vidual is  not  altogether  quit  of  youth, 
when  he  is  already  old  and  honored,  and 
Lord  Chancellor  of  England.  We  advance 
in  years  somewhat  in  the  manner  of  an 
invading  army  in  a  barren  land ;  the  age 
that  we  have  reached,  as  the  phrase  goes, 
we  but  hold  with  an  outpost,  and  still 
keep  open  our  communications  with  the 
extreme  rear  and  first  beginnings  of  the 
march.  There  is  our  true  base;  that  is 
not  only  the  beginning,  but  the  perennial 
spring  of  our  faculties;  and  grandfather 
William  can  retire  upon  occasion  into  the 
green  enchanted  forest  of  his  boyhood." 

Both  children  and  adults  are  so  attracted 
to  fairy  stories  or  to  romantic,  imaginative 
tales  like  the  "Arabian  Nights,"  because 
these  seem  to  realize  their  childhood  wishes 
and  day-dreams.  Children's  dreams,  there- 
fore, because  elementary,  unsymbolized,  and 
undisguised,  are  interesting  and  valuable  as 



illustrating  and  proving  two  most  important 
dream  mechanisms,  viz. :  that  the  only  func- 
tion of  the  unconscious  is  wishing,  and 
secondly,  that  all  dreams  are  fulfillments 
of  these  unconscious  motives.  Concerning 
children's  dreams,  Freud  states  as  follows :  ^ 

"The  wish  manifest  in  the  dream  must 
be  an  infantile  one.  In  the  adult,  it  (the 
wish)  originates  in  the  unconscious,  while 
in  the  child,  where  no  separation  and 
censor  yet  exist  between  the  foreconscious 
and  the  unconscious,  or  where  these  are 
only  in  the  process  of  formation,  it  is  an 
unfulfilled  and  unrepressed  wish  from  the 
waking  state." 

From  the  standpoint  of  psycho-analysis, 
therefore,  and  particularly  in  clearing  up 
the  important  problem  of  hysteria  in  chil- 
dren, with  the  consequent  prevention  of 
adult  hysteria,  children's  dreams  are  of 
value  as  showing  the  simplest  type  of  imagi- 
nary wish  fulfillment.     They  serve  to  prove, 

^  "Interpretation  of  Dreams,"  p.  439. 


more  clearly  than  adult  dreams,  the  theory 
that  all  dreams  represent  unfulfilled  wishes. 
In  children's  dreams  also,  the  dream  insti- 
gators (such  as  the  play  activities  of  the 
day  or  the  reading  of  fairy  or  hero  tales) 
may  be  harmless  enough,  but  the  content 
of  each  dream,  even  though  activated  by 
such  a  trifling  instigator,  represents  the 
fulfilling  of  important  repressed  childhood 
wishes.  Thus  children's  dreams,  like  those 
of  adults,  in  spite  of  their  simple  character, 
of  the  child's  elementary  desires,  and  of  the 
apparently  harmless  instigators,  do  not 
deal  with  trifles,  but  with  very  important 
mental  conflicts  of  the  child.  For  instance, 
in  the  case  of  hysteria  in  a  little  girl,  which 
was  instigated  through  jealousy  of  an  older 
brother  because  of  the  maternal  over- 
exuberant  attentions  to  this  brother,  the 
following  dreams  occurred : 

Dream  1.  Her  brother  seemed  to  be 
taken  away  from  her  to  a  cave  where  she 
also  saw  her  mother  dying,  and  then  she 



seemed  to  go  to  another  house  where  she 
was  very  happy  and  teased  by  children. 

Dream  2.  She  and  her  brother  were  out 
together,  and  a  witch  plagued  her  and  took 
her  brother  away  from  her  and  locked  him 
in  an  enormous  cave. 

Now  these  two  dreams  clearly  represented 
the  fulfilling  of  strong,  repressed  wishes  of 
the  little  girl,  namely,  to  have  revenge  on 
her  brother  and  mother  and  banish  them 
from  the  family  circle.  By  this  means  she 
hoped  to  gain  ascendency  over  the  house- 
hold and  thus  end  the  family  conflict.  Of 
course  such  a  wish,  because  impossible  of 
fulfillment  in  reality,  either  dominated  the 
little  girl's  day-dreams  or  was  suppressed 
into  unconscious.  The  wish,  however,  was 
persistently  present  and  was  fulfilled  at 
night  in  dreams,  because  the  censor  was 
relaxed  and  allowed  the  undisguised  wish 
to  enter  the  consciousness  of  the  sleeper. 
The  dream  used  as  material  certain  fairy 
tales,  because  these  served  to  fulfill  the  little 



girl's  desires.  The  instigator  of  these  dreams 
was  harmless  enough,  but  the  use  made  of 
the  instigator  was  to  fulfill  the  unconscious 
but  repressed  wish,  i.e.,  to  get  rid  of  both 
mother  and  brother.  Thus  out  of  child- 
hood wishes  arise  mental  conflicts  which 
may  cause  the  important  and  apparently 
contradictory  dreams  of  adult  life,  such  as 
the  dreams  of  the  death  of  a  near  or  dear 
relative  (father  or  mother^)  or  the  em- 
barrassment dreams  of  nakedness. 

Sometimes,  too,  children  will  use  the 
material  of  an  interesting  fairy  story  as 
the  content  of  an  entire  dream,  in  order  to 
continue  the  excitement  of  the  story  during 
the  night.  A  five-year-old  boy,  for  in- 
stance, after  having  had  a  portion  of  "Alice 
in  Wonderland"  read  to  him,  became  in- 
tensely excited  and  interested,  so  much  so 
that  it  became  necessary  to  discontinue 
the  reading  for  the  day.  However,  the 
next  morning  on  awakening,  he  sat  up  in 

^  The  so-called  (Edipus  or  Electra-Complex  dreams. 


bed  and  spontaneously  said:  "O  dear  me! 
I  am  surprised  to  see  myself  in  my  own  bed, 
because  my  Teddy  bear  went  down  a  hole, 
and  I  went  after  him,  and  then  I  thought 
I  swam  in  my  own  tears."  Here  was 
evidently  a  pure  wish  dream,  a  desire  to 
continue  the  day's  excitement  caused  by 
the  story,  plus  the  wish  to  continue  playing 
with  his  Teddy  bear.  Another  boy,  age 
four,  who  during  the  day  had  been  to  a 
children's  party,  betrayed  the  wish  to  con- 
tinue the  good  time  he  had  at  the  party  by 
the  following  dream:  '* Daddy,  when  I 
am  in  bed  with  my  eyes  closed,  I  can  see 
Barbara's  party." 

The  dreams  of  primitive  races  of  men  in 
many  ways  strongly  resemble  the  dreams  of 
children,  because,  as  was  previously  men- 
tioned, savages  possess  many  childlike  and 
primitive  activities,  the  same  as  do  civilized 
children.  In  fact,  up  to  a  certain  age,  the 
civilized  child  is  really  a  savage,  with  his 
strong  egotism  and  feelings  of  rivalry  and 



jealousy,  and  his  few  or  no  altruistic  ten- 
dencies. From  a  psycho-analytic  viewpoint 
all  war  is  a  form  of  reversion  to  the  un- 
bridled fury  of  our  childhood  Ufe,  at  a 
time  when  there  was  no  repression.  In 
the  child  as  in  the  savage,  the  wish  and 
the  thought  are  synonymous,  —  there  is  no 
distinction  or  separation;  both  want  their 
desires  immediately  gratified,  although  such 
gratification  may  be  impossible  in  reality. 
The  dreams  of  the  American  negro,  particu- 
larly the  so-called  pure-blooded  negro,  are 
simple  wish  fulfillments,  because  the  mental 
activities  of  the  race  are  less  complicated 
than  those  of  the  Caucasian. 

A  Yahagan  Indian,  for  instance,  in  trad- 
ing groceries  with  a  settler  stated:^  "Me 
buy  English  biscuit  and  me  dream  have 
more  English  biscuit  and  things  and  wake 
up  and  find  no  got  any."     This  is  an  ex- 

1  This  and  other  dreams  of  primitive  tribes,  as  well  as  for  the 
reference  to  Grubb,  were  kindly  fm-nished  me  by  the  well-known 
explorer,  Charles  W.  Furlong,  F.R.G.S. 



ample  of  a  pure  wish  dream,  like  the  dream 
of  a  Uttle  child.  If  a  Carib  Indian  believes 
he  has  a  specific  enemy  or  dislikes  a  par- 
ticular Indian,  he  will  dream  that  this  In- 
dian is  attempting  to  kill  him,  the  thought 
being  father  to  the  wish.  He  will  interpret 
the  dream  as  an  actual  attempt  on  his  life, 
and  thus  the  repressed  wish  to  get  ''square" 
with  his  enemy  is  fulfilled  in  the  dream,  the 
dream  thus  furnishing  the  excuse  for  his 
already  wished-for  revenge. 

In  a  most  interesting  book,^  Grubb 
states  that  "dreams  play  a  very  important 
part  in  the  life  of  an  Indian  and  to  some 
extent  govern  many  of  his  actions.  .  .  . 
Dreaming  is,  in  the  opinion  of  the  Indian, 
an  adventurous  journeying  of  the  soul 
attended  by  much  danger.  While  the 
soul  wanders,  being  ethereal,  it  is  able  to 
gratify  its  desires  more  freely  than  if  it 
were   in   the   body.  ...     As    the   Indian 

^  W.  B.  Grubb,  "An  Unknown  People  in  an  Unknown  Land." 
(Refers  mainly  to  the  Lengua  Indians  of  the  Paraguayan  Chaco 



looks  upon  the  body  only  as  a  house  or  as 
an  instrument  in  the  hands  of  the  soul,  he 
considers  that  what  he  dreams  about  is  in 
reality  a  declaration  of  the  will  of  the  soul 
and  therefore,  whenever  possible,  that  will 
must  be  gratified  through  the  body."  In  this 
attitude  of  the  Indian  towards  his  dreams 
we  seem  to  have  a  very  simple  and  primi- 
tive conception  of  the  Freudian  theory  that 
dreams  represent  fulfilled  wishes.  In  a  pre- 
vious contribution,^  the  following  statement 
was  made  :  ''There  is  a  certain  resemblance 
likewise  between  the  mental  life  of  the 
savage  and  the  neurotic,  for  instance,  in  the 
relationship  of  the  taboo  and  the  neurotic 
obsessions  or  obsessional  prohibition,  a 
comparative  feature  which  is  best  seen  in 
the  fear  of  touching  certain  objects  {delire 
de  toucher).  Suppression  is  the  result  of 
our  complex  civilization.  Savages,  like 
children,   have   not   learned   to   suppress." 

1  Isador  H.   Coriat,    "Abnormal   Psychology,"    2nd    edition, 
New  York,  1914  (pp.  331-332). 



Several  pure  wish  dreams  of  these  In- 
dians are  given  by  the  author,  and  from 
these  the  following  is  selected  as  suffi- 
ciently  illustrating  the  type   of  material: 

"  While  sleeping  in  an  Indian  village  one 
morning,  I  awoke  long  before  the  first  light 
and  noticed  a  number  of  men  sitting  round 
a  fire  engaged  in  an  animated  conversation. 
Joining  the  party,  I  found  that  they  were 
laying  plans  for  a  hunting  expedition.  The 
night  before  I  had  heard  nothing  of  such  a 
project.  I  found  that  they  were  proposing 
to  sally  forth  to  some  open  plains,  some  dis- 
tance to  the  north,  where  they  expected  to 
find  ostriches.  While  listening  to  the  con- 
versation, I  gathered  that  one  of  the  men 
had  just  had  a  dream,  and  in  it  he  had 
seen  ostriches  in  that  district." 

Thus  the  inability  of  the  Indian  to  dis- 
tinguish a  dream  from  reality  had  betrayed 
his  wish,  a  condition  exactly  similar  to 
dreams  of  civilized  children.  A  four-year- 
old  boy,  for  instance,  on  being  brought  into 



a  room  to  view  the  expected  Christmas  tree, 
carefully  touched  the  various  branches  of 
the  tree  with  his  fingers.  This  was  a  rem- 
iniscence, no  doubt,  of  a  dream  in  which 
the  tree  vanished  on  awakening,  and  thus, 
in  this  symptomatic  action,  he  wished  to 
assure  himself  of  the  tree's  reality. 


Chapter  VIII 
Typical  Dreams 

THE  analysis  and  correct  interpre- 
tation of  a  dream  presupposes  a 
certain  degree  of  knowledge  and 
technical  skill.  A  dream  cannot  be  inter- 
preted, however,  unless  the  dreamer  con- 
scientiously and  without  resistance  fur- 
nishes us  with  the  instigators  and  the 
complex  latent  thoughts  which  lie  behind 
the  dream,  and  from  this  mass  of  material 
the  real  meaning  of  the  dream  can  be 
constructed.  There  are  certain  dreams, 
though,  which  nearly  every  one  has 
dreamed  in  much  the  same  manner,  which 
are  clearly  defined  and  need  no  elaborate 
interpretation.  In  fact,  the  dream  really 
interprets  itself,  and  a  knowledge  of  certain 
dream  symbohsms  enables  one  to  penetrate 



the  inner  meaning  of  such  a  dream.  Be- 
cause these  dreams  occur  to  us  all  and  arise 
from  emotions  common  to  the  human  race, 
they  have  been  termed  typical  dreams. 
The  subject  of  typical  dreams  is  very  wide 
and  complex.  Only  the  general  outlines 
can  be  considered  here,  since  such  dreams 
are  markedly  symbolic  and  require  for 
their  correct  understanding  an  accurate 
knowledge  of  dream  symboHsm. 

A  typical  dream  frequently  deals  with  an 
unpleasant  or  painful  situation  without  any 
unpleasant  emotion  in  the  dream  itself; 
in  fact,  the  dreamer  may  remain  totally 
indifferent  to  the  situation.  This  is  partic- 
ularly well  seen  in  those  dreams  in  which 
the  dreamer  appears  only  partially  clothed 
in  the  presence  of  strangers  or  friends. 
The  dreamer  in  such  situations  is  totally  un- 
embarrassed, and  the  spectators  completely 
indifferent  to  the  negligee  attire  of  the  sub- 
ject. For  instance,  one  subject  dreamed 
that  he  was  in  his  bedroom  only  partially 


dressed,  and  two  women  friends  seemed  to 
be  in  the  room.  He  was  totally  unabashed, 
while  the  women  did  not  seem  to  notice  his 
condition.  The  meaning  of  this  and  of 
other  typical  dreams,  as,  for  instance,  the 
dream  of  the  death  of  a  beloved  relative, 
usually  father  or  mother,  opens  up  interest- 
ing vistas  in  an  unconscious  mental  life, 
particularly  the  repressed  emotions  of  our 

In  the  above  dream  of  being  partially 
clothed,  it  will  be  noticed  that  the  sense  of 
modesty  referable  to  our  bodies,  which 
occurs  in  all  civilized  and  adult  individuals, 
is  totally  lacking.  It  is  only  in  the  child 
or  in  the  very  primitive  savage  that  such 
a  sense  of  modesty  has  not  yet  developed, 
and  it  is  this  fact,  as  will  be  shown  later, 
which  not  only  enters  the  make-up  of  the 
dream,  but  provides  the  explanation  for 
the  meaning  of  the  dream.  The  real  emo- 
tion of  the  dream  in  these  cases  lies  in  the 
dream  thoughts  or  latent  content  of  the 



dream  and  not  in  the  manifest  content  or 
the  dream  as  remembered. 

SuperJBcially,  such  dreams  seem  to  con- 
tradict the  theory  that  all  dreams  represent 
the  imaginary  fulfillment  of  wishes,  for, 
one  will  ask,  who  wishes  to  appear  naked  or 
partially  clothed  in  public,  or  who,  however 
depraved  in  morals,  wishes  for  the  death 
of  the  father  or  mother.  Such  desires 
belong  to  a  very  primitive  state  of  society, 
or  to  the  age  of  earliest  childhood,  when 
the  egotistic  child  still  possesses  many  of 
the  instincts  of  the  savage  and  will  desist 
from  nothing  to  gain  its  own  ends.  Such  de- 
sires, if  they  existed  in  childhood,  seem  to 
have  disappeared  in  our  adult  life,  but  in 
reality  they  are  only  repressed  into  the  un- 
conscious. Thus  such  types  of  dreams  re- 
vert to  our  childhood,  when  jealousy  of 
one  of  the  parents  existed,  or  when  the 
child  had  so  little  modesty  that  insufficient 
clothing  failed  to  cause  the  slightest  em- 
barrassment.    No  one  can  doubt  that  such 



emotions  take  place  in  children,  particu- 
larly when  the  child,  as  occurs  in  so  many 
cases,  has  a  stronger  emotional  attachment 
for  one  parent  than  for  another.  There- 
fore, the  wish  concealed  within  such  a 
type  of  dream  does  not  actually  exist  in 
adult  life,  but  did  at  one  time  exist  in  the 
childhood  of  the  individual  and  became 
subsequently  repressed.  The  repressed 
feelings  are  so  successfully  kept  down  by  our 
moral  censorship  that  they  appear  only  in 
dreams.  The  typical  dream  therefore,  does 
not  contradict  the  wish  theory,  but  actually 
confirms  it. 

The  dream  of  the  death  of  a  parent, 
either  the  father  or  the  mother,  according 
to  whether  the  dreamer  is  a  son  or  daughter, 
represents  a  family  conflict  arising  in  early 
childhood.  The  son,  for  instance,  becomes 
jealous  of  the  attention  of  the  mother  for 
the  father  and  wishes  to  replace  the  latter 
in  her  affections.  Thus  a  mental  conflict 
arises,  and  the  only  manner  in  which,  accord- 



ing  to  the  childish  idea,  such  a  replacement 
can  be  accomplished,  is  for  the  father  to  be 
out  of  the  way,  or  absent,  which  to  the  mind 
of  the  child  is  synonymous  with  death.  The 
child  struggles  against  this  idea,  as  such  a 
conception  is  opposed  to  its  innate  moral 
attitude,  and  as  a  result  of  the  struggle,  the 
wish  is  strongly  repressed  in  the  uncon- 
scious. It  appears  later  in  adult  life  in 
the  form  of  a  dream  of  the  death  of  the 
father,  whose  meaning  is  that  although  the 
dreamer  does  not  now  wish  his  father  dead, 
yet  the  desire  once  existed  at  some  early 
period  of  the  individual's  life.  In  the 
daughter  the  opposite  process  takes  place; 
it  is  the  dream  of  the  death  of  the  mother, 
because  in  very  early  childhood  the  girl 
wished  to  replace  her  mother  in  her  father's 

Such  types  of  dreams  represent  the 
struggles  and  perplexities  of  our  infantile 
mental  life,  and  like  all  typical  dreams  are 
repressed  wishes  from  our  infantile  reminis- 



cences.  The  typical  dream,  then,  contains 
wishes  which  we  will  not  admit  in  our  wak- 
ing life,  but  secret  wishes,  dating  from  our 
earliest  infancy,  there  find  expression.  This 
applies  to  all  typical  dreams,  although  the 
acknowledgment  of  this  fact  will  be  found 
very  difficult  by  the  uninitiated.  In  this 
type  of  dream  of  the  death  of  a  dear  rela- 
tive, there  is  usually  deep  grief,  although  the 
death  of  such  a  relative  may  have  been  most 
remote  from  the  mind  of  the  dreamer.  The 
dream  means  that  the  dreamer  wished  the 
relative,  no  matter  how  near  or  dear,  really 
dead.  Of  course,  this  will  excite  an  indig- 
nant denial  in  every  one,  but  the  matter  be- 
comes clear  when  it  is  emphasized  that  such 
a  wish  does  not  exist  now,  but  did  exist  at 
some  remote  period  of  childhood.  Some- 
times the  dream  is  literal,  sometimes  in  a 
veiled  and  disguised  form. 

This  typical  dream  makes  up  the  (Edipus- 
motive  of  childhood ;  every  child  which  has 
such  wishes  is  in  reality  a  little  QEdipus. 



With  the  advance  of  adult  culture  and  of 
the  ethical  and  moral  interpretation  of 
life,  such  a  wish,  because  it  is  incompatible 
with  our  personality,  is  repressed  into  the 
unconscious.  In  all  of  us  this  strongly 
repressed  emotion  exists,  but  is  under  con- 
trol. Because  it  bears  so  strong  a  resem- 
blance to  the  myth  of  (Edipus,  such  a 
group  of  repressed  ideas  is  termed  the 
(Edipus-complex.  Normal  individuals  suc- 
cessfully repress  it  however,  and  it  only 
appears  in  their  dreams.  An  unsuccessful 
repression  of  the  complex  may  give  rise  to 
various  psychoneurotic  disturbances,  and 
these  psychoneurotics,  therefore,  show  in 
their  symptoms  many  residuals  of  their 
childhood  mental  and  emotional  make-up.^ 
Thus  the  symboUsm  of  these  typical 
dreams  does  not  belong  to  the  dream  itself  or 
to  the  dreamer,  but  to  the  unconscious  think- 

1  For  the  discussion  of  the  relation  of  the  (Edipus-complex  to 
nervous  diseases,  see  my  paper,  "The  (Edipus-Complex  in  the 
Psychoneuroses,"  Journal  of  Abnormal  Psychology,  vol.  VII,  no.  3, 



ing  of  the  human  race.  The  dream  merely 
takes  advantage  of  this  unconscious  sym- 
boHsm  for  the  purpose  of  disguising  the 
dream.  Since  the  emotion  which  produces 
the  dream  is  a  common  emotion  of  man- 
kind, it  can,  when  it  occurs  in  a  social  group, 
either  give  rise  to  a  myth,  as  shown  in  the 
(Edipus  story,  or,  if  in  the  individual,  to 
the  typical  dream. 

An  example  of  such  an  (Edipus  dream  is 
the  following : 

Dream.  He  seemed  to  be  in  a  store, 
and  his  father  was  there,  like  a  shadow 
and  acting  in  the  capacity  of  a  clerk. 

Analysis.  The  subject  in  his  early 
childhood  had  developed  a  feeling  of  resent- 
ment towards  his  father  and  an  over-exu- 
berant love  for  his  mother.  Consciously, 
he  had  never  wished  his  father  dead, 
but  in  the  dream  he  has  placed  his  father 
in  the  background ;  in  fact,  he  has  become 
a  mere  shadow.  Note,  too,  how  he  further 
humiliates  his  father.     He  makes   him  a 



clerk  in  the  dream,  whereas  in  reahty  his 
father  was  the  proprietor  of  the  store  in 
which  he  appeared. 

The  following  dream  of  a  young  man 
offers  an  excellent  illustration  of  the  non- 
embarrassment  dream  of  nakedness.  It 
will  be  noted  that  the  dream  is  a  more  in- 
tense form  of  the  episode  of  being  insuf- 
ficiently clothed,  yet  both  types  of  dreams 
represent  the  same  repressed  desire  carried 
over  from  childhood : 

Dream.  An  elderly  woman  took  the 
dreamer  to  a  pond  of  water  which  had 
muddy  banks.  It  appeared  as  though  he 
were  to  bathe  in  this  pool.  She  had  with 
her  a  little  girl,  and  it  seemed  as  if  it  were 
planned  that  the  child  bathe  with  him. 
No  bathing  suits  were  visible.  Appar- 
ently he  was  expected  to  bathe  naked, 
and  he  hinted  to  the  woman  that 
such  a  procedure  would  not  be  exactly 
proper.  The  woman  replied  that  every- 
thing would  be  all  right.     Then  he   went 



into  the  water  naked  in  front  of  the  child 
and  the  woman.  There  was  not  the  sHght- 
est  sense  of  embarrassment;  in  fact,  there 
was  a  feehng  of  pleasure  in  the  nakedness 
and  splashing  in  the  water.  After  he  had 
finished  bathing,  he  clambered  up  the  bank, 
and  neither  he  nor  the  two  spectators 
seemed  embarrassed. 

Analysis.  This  dream  is  typical.  The 
child  was  unknown  to  the  dreamer,  while 
the  woman  was  partially  recognized  as  a 
neighbor  with  whom  he  had  only  a  slight 
acquaintance.  So  far  as  could  be  deter- 
mined by  the  analysis,  there  were  no  dream 
instigators,  neither  did  the  subject  know 
the  origin  of  the  dream.  The  dream,  there- 
fore, must  have  been  the  symbolization  of 
some  repressed  thoughts  from  the  uncon- 
scious mental  life.  It  will  be  noticed  that 
in  this  dream  the  subject  is  not  ashamed  of 
his  nakedness,  although  the  spectators  in 
the  dream  were  strangers  to  him  and  both 
of  the  opposite  sex.     In  fact,  he  was  not 



only  indifferent,  but  experienced  a  keen 
sense  of  pleasure  in  the  nakedness  and 
splashing  in  the  pool.  This  dream  cannot 
express  the  fulfillment  of  an  adult  wish, 
since  social  conventionalities  and  the  re- 
straints imposed  by  culture  and  adult 
modesty  would  be  decidedly  against  such  a 
wish  being  fulfilled,  even  in  a  dream.  The 
dream  must,  therefore,  like  the  (Edipus- 
complex  dreams,  have  had  its  origin  in 
the  past  life  of  the  individual,  when  such 
a  desire  existed.  This  desire,  with  its 
abandonment  of  all  social  restraint,  could 
only  have  existed  in  childhood;  in  fact, 
all  these  dreams  of  being  naked  or  appear- 
ing in  company  with  insufficient  clothing 
can  be  traced  back  to  a  period  in  childhood 
when  such  wishes  existed  and  were  not 
repressed.  Such  a  dream,  therefore,  rep- 
resents a  wish  to  be  younger,  to  be  a 
child  again,  with  all  the  wild  abandon  of 
a  child. 

Other   typical   dreams   which   very   fre- 



quently  occur  are  those  of  tooth  pulhng, 
flying,  faUing,  fire,  dreams  of  burglars,  etc. 
It  is  impossible  to  enter  into  the  meaning 
and  analysis  of  all  these  types  of  dreams. 
One  dream  will  be  given  however,  a  typical 
flying  dream.  Like  all  flying  dreams,  this 
signifies  in  part  a  wish  to  do  as  one  pleases, 
to  be  free  from  social  restraint,  and  not 
bound  down  by  the  conventionalities  of 
culture  and  civilization.  This  desire  existed 
in  childhood,  but  it  is  impossible  of  ful- 
fillment in  our  complex  civilization,  and 
consequently  the  childhood  desire  is  ful- 
filled only  in  a  dream.  These  dreams  are 
characterized  by  a  keen  sense  of  delight 
and  freedom.  An  example  of  such  a  fan- 
tastic and  imaginative  flying  dream  is  as 
follows :  ^ 

Dream.  ''I  dreamed  we  were  living  in 
a  town  on  a  hill-slope  which  was  skirted 
by  a  steep  ravine.  On  the  further  side  of 
the  ravine  a  winding  road  went  through 

^  Given  verbatim  as  written  by  the  dreamer. 


the  woods.  My  mother  asked  me  to  go 
to  the  other  end  of  the  town  on  an  errand. 
I  started  but  concluded  first  to  take  a 
walk,  so  I  went  to  the  road  in  the  woods 
and  walked  a  long  distance.  Suddenly  I 
saw  some  clothes  hanging  on  a  bush  as  if 
to  dry.  I  knew  some  one  was  near  and 
became  frightened;  I  turned  to  go  back. 
A  man  stepped  into  the  road  in  front  of 
me.  He  was  dressed  in  a  rough  negligee 
shirt  and  dark  trousers  with  a  leather  belt. 
His  face  was  fine,  almost  delicate,  and  he 
had  extremely  curly  yellow  hair  and  closely 
cut  beard.  It  was  so  yellow  that  it  looked 
almost  like  metal.  I  remember  thinking  the 
man  out  of  keeping  with  his  clothes.  He 
simply  stood  there  and  looked  at  me  in- 
tently. I  felt  that  I  could  not  go  deeper 
into  the  woods  and  it  was  impossible  to 
get  past  him  into  the  town. 

"Suddenly  I  bethought  me  of  the  power 
I  had  to  rise  in  the  air  at  will.  I  concen- 
trated all  my  thoughts  upon   escaping  in 



that  way.  As  I  went  up  and  up,  I  looked 
steadily  into  the  face  of  the  man  standing 
silently  in  the  road  watching  me  until  he 
seemed  a  mere  speck  in  the  road.  Then  I 
moved  toward  the  village.  I  could  see 
the  forest  and  the  road  and  noticed  many 
telegraph  wires  stretching  beneath  me.  As 
I  reached  the  ravine  at  the  edge  of  the 
town,  I  thought  it  best  to  descend,  as  the 
people  might  wonder  at  seeing  me  in  the 
air.  I  started  down,  but  I  went  faster 
than  I  intended  to  go  and  barely  missed 
being  stranded  on  the  telegraph  wires.  I 
realized  that  I  must  reduce  my  speed  or  be 
hurt,  so  I  exerted  all  my  will  power  and 
succeeded  in  alighting  safely  on  my  feet. 
I  walked  home  without  doing  the  errand 
I  started  for  and  went  into  the  house  to 
my  mother.     Then  I  awoke." 

The  discussion  of  typical  dreams  leads 
to  another  subject  of  great  interest,  which 
has  recently  attracted  the  attention  of 
psycho-analysts,   namely,   the  relationship 



between  dreams  and  myths.  In  general 
it  may  be  stated  that  the  psychological 
structure  and  meaning  of  both  dreams  and 
myths  are  the  same.  A  myth  is  a  waking 
dream,  a  fantasy.  Dreams  frequently  orig- 
inate from  the  emotions  common  to  man- 
kind and  thus  produce  the  typical  dreams 
already  described,  and  the  same  common 
emotion  gives  rise  to  typical  myths.  An 
analysis  of  typical  dreams,  therefore,  fur- 
nishes the  best  standpoint  for  the  analysis 
of  universal  myths  and  legends;  for  in- 
stance, the  childhood  wish  for  the  death  of 
the  father  as  forming  the  groundwork  for 
the  (Edipus-complex  dreams  and  (Edipus 
myth  or  the  dreams  of  nakedness  with  lack 
of  sense  of  shame  as  furnishing  the  basis 
for  the  myth  of  a  Paradise  or  Garden  of 
Eden.  Both  these  dreams  and  myths  are 
symbols,  and  such  symbolism  has  its  roots 
in  the  unconscious.  In  the  individual  this 
unconscious  symbolism  leads  to  dreams; 
in  the  race  and  society,  to  myths,  legends, 



and  fairy  tales.  The  myth  is  therefore  a 
fragment  of  the  repressed  hfe  of  the  race. 
Both  myths  and  dreams  are  activated  by 
unconscious  mental  processes,  particularly 
the  infantile  and  primitive  elements  of  the 
unconscious  with  their  consequent  repression. 
We  dream,  not  only  in  sleep,  but  also  have 
our  artificial  dreams.  It  is  these  artificial 
dreams  which,  as  individual  products,  may 
enter  into  the  spirit  of  a  race  and  so  give 
rise  to  myths  and  fairy  tales.  The  ultimate 
origin  of  all  myths  is  to  be  found  in  the 
creative  faculty  of  the  unconscious,  a 
faculty  which  is  equally  able  to  make  night 
dreams  or  artificial  dreams,  myths,  and 
fairy  tales,  the  only  difference  being,  not 
in  the  fundamental  mechanism,  which  is 
always  identical,  but  in  the  use  of  the 
material  employed  and  its  dramatization. 
Thus  is  explained  the  horror  of  the  dreams 
of  the  death  of  near  and  dear  relatives, 
which  were  wished,  not  in  adult  life,  but 
in  the  early,  prehistoric  period  of  our  child- 



hood  and  lie  deeply  buried  in  our  adult 
unconscious.  The  wish  revealed  itself  only 
in  dreams  when  the  censor  was  relaxed  or 
ceased  to  act,  but  even  here  the  meaning 
of  the  dream  can  be  brought  out  only 
through  a  searching  psycho-analysis. 

Myths,  like  dreams,  are  symbolized,  and 
the  myth,  which  is  really  the  manifest 
content,  contains  within  itself  the  latent 
emotions  of  the  collective  race  spirit,  and 
thus  comes  to  express  something  which  its 
outer  form  does  not  suggest  or  signify. 
Such  symbolisms  have  many  dream-like 
attributes.  They  are  not  only  highly  con- 
densed products  of  the  thought  of  the  race, 
but  like  typical  dreams  they  have  their  roots 
in  the  archaic  and  primitive  types  of  racial 
thinking.  Thus  in  a  more  or  less  modified 
form  they  can  appear  as  almost  identical 
myths  in  various  ethnic  groups,  which  may 
be  separated  by  immense  periods  of  time 
and  under  different  conditions  of  cultural 



The  symbolisms  which  are  so  frequent 
in  art  and  in  ecclesiastical  architecture, 
are  also  examples  of  such  symbolic  thinking 
applied  to  the  creative  imagination.  The 
creative  imagination  itself,  which  is  really 
a  type  of  a  day-dream,  is  constantly 
striving  to  express  its  desires  and  wishes, 
thus  resembling  our  dreams  at  night.  The 
artist  and  the  poet,  like  the  dreamer, 
express  their  thoughts  in  symbols  whose 
origin  is  frequently  unknown  to  the  individ- 
ual, but  which  can  repeatedly  be  traced 
to  the  unconscious  mental  life.  It  is  there 
that  the  motive  or  creative  impulse  lies. 
An  excellent  example  of  such  a  symboliza- 
tion  in  popular  thought  is  the  mediaeval 
idea  of  the  devil.  Analysis  of  the  concep- 
tion of  the  devil  shows  that  it  is  really  the 
exteriorization  of  a  forbidden  and  repressed 
wish.  This  is  well  seen  in  Giotto's  painting 
of  the  temptation  of  Judas,  where  the  devil 
is  portrayed  as  a  shadow  behind  Judas  and 
pushing  forward  the  hand  of  Judas  for  the 



pieces  of  silver.  In  "Faust,"  too,  Mephis- 
topheles  is  symbolized  as  the  guilty  con- 
science, the  forbidden  desire  projected  out- 
wards in  the  shape  of  a  devil.  As  so  clearly 
expressed  by  Taylor  :  ^ 

"But  how  are  sins  thought  to  come  to 
men  and  women  in  the  Middle  Ages,  and 
especially  to  those  who  were  earnestly 
striving  to  escape  them.^^  Rather  than 
fruit  of  the  naughtiness  of  the  human  heart, 
they  come  through  the  malicious  sugges- 
tions, the  temptations,  of  a  Tempter. 
They  were  in  fine  the  machinations  of  the 

1  "The  Mediseval  Mind,"  vol.  I,  p.  487. 


Chapter  IX 
Prophetic  Dreams 

IN  the  astronomical  sciences,  the  future 
may  often  be  accurately  prophesied ; 
for  instance,  the  movements  of  the 
stars,  the  return  of  comets  after  their  vast 
journeys  through  space,  the  coming  of 
eclipses;  or  in  chemistry,  the  periodic  law 
by  which  the  existence  of  many  new  ele- 
ments was  predicted.  Contrary  to  the 
popular  belief,  however,  it  is  extremely 
doubtful  if  dreams  can  in  any  way  foretell 
future  events.  Freud  states  as  follows 
concerning  this  point : 

"The  belief  in  prophetic  dreams  numbers 
many  adherents,  because  it  can  be  sup- 
ported by  the  fact  that  some  things  really 
do  happen  in  the  future  as  they  were  pre- 
viously foretold  by  the  wish  of  the  dream. 



But  in  this  there  is  httle  to  be  wondered 
at,  as  many  far-reaching  deviations  may 
be  regularly  demonstrated  between  a  dream 
and  the  fulfillment,  which  the  credulity  of 
the  dreamer  prefers  to  neglect." 

For  instance,  many  people  have  dreamed 
of  some  burning  ambition  being  realized, 
and  some  time  later  this  ambition  is  ful- 
filled in  reality.  The  wish  has  thus  been 
fulfilled  both  in  the  dream  and  in  actual 
life.  From  this  we  must  not  conclude 
that  the  dream  possesses  any  prophetic 
function,  or  that  it  can  in  any  way  forecast 
the  future,  but  one  must  interpret  both  the 
dream  and  its  later  fulfillment  as  being 
merely  the  realized  wish.  The  wish  pro- 
duced the  dream,  and  in  the  ambition  of 
every-day  life  to  fulfill  this  wish  there  was 
a  constant  striving,  and  finally  it  was 
actually  fulfilled.  The  dream  took  place 
because  a  dream  never  concerns  itself  with 
trifles,  and  consequently  the  fulfillment  of 
the  wish  had  a  strong  personal  motive. 



Sometimes,  also,  we  dream  of  a  certain 
person  whom  we  have  never  met  before 
and  several  days  later  or  even  the  next  day, 
lo  !  to  our  surprise,  we  meet  the  individual. 
The  dream  is  not  prophetic.  What  occurs 
is  this.  The  strange  individual  dreamed 
of  is  usually  a  condensation,  like  a  composite 
photograph,  and  on  meeting  the  actual 
stranger,  we  unconsciously  take  one  element 
of  this  composite  dream  figure  and  apply 
it  to  the  stranger.  Thence  arises  the 
illusion,  for  it  is  only  an  illusion,  of  having 
met  a  total  stranger,  who  had  been  pre- 
viously seen  only  in  a  dream.  In  fact,  if 
such  accounts  as  these  be  carefully  analyzed, 
it  will  be  found  that  the  person  dreamed  of 
never  actually  resembled  the  person  later 

During  sleep,  also,  the  brain  admits  and 
is  influenced  by  impressions  received  by 
the  various  organs  of  the  body,  impressions 
sometimes  of  so  slight  a  character  that  they 
are  not  felt  in  the  waking  state.     In  morbid 



conditions  of  certain  organs,  therefore,  it 
is  possible  that  in  their  early  stages  these 
conditions,  which  are  not  noticed  at  all  by 
the  waking  consciousness,  may  give  rise 
to  various  types  of  dreams,  particularly 
dreams  of  anxiety.  Medical  writers  have 
long  admitted  this  significance  of  the  dream 
thus  protecting  sleep  and  drawing  the  at- 
tention of  the  sleeper  to  morbid  disturbances 
of  various  organs.  Freud,  who  seems  to 
have  thoroughly  reviewed  the  literature  on 
the  subject,  states  as  follows  concerning 
these  types  of  dreams : 

"Serious  disturbances  of  the  internal 
organs  apparently  act  as  incitors  of  dreams 
in  a  considerable  number  of  persons.  At- 
tention is  quite  generally  called  to  the 
frequency  of  anxiety  dreams  in  the  disease 
of  the  heart  and  lungs.  .  .  .  Tissie  even 
assumes  that  the  diseased  organs  impress 
upon  the  dream  content  their  characteristic 
features.  The  dreams  of  persons  suffering 
from  disease  of  the  heart  are  generally  very 



brief  and  terminate  in  a  terrified  awakening ; 
the  situation  of  death  under  terrible  circum- 
stances almost  always  plays  a  part  in  their 
content.  Those  suffering  from  disease  of  the 
lungs  dream  of  suffocation,  of  being  crowded, 
and  of  flight ;  and  a  great  many  of  them  are 
subject  to  the  well-known  nightmare  which, 
by  the  way,  Boerner  has  succeeded  in  pro- 
ducing experimentally  by  lying  on  the  face 
and  closing  up  the  openings  of  the  respira- 
tory organs.  In  digestive  disturbances  the 
dream  contains  ideas  from  the  sphere  of 
enjoyment  and  disgust.  Finally,  the  in- 
fluence of  sexual  excitement  on  the  dream 
content  is  perceptible  enough  in  every  one's 
experience,  and  lends  the  strongest  support 
to  the  entire  theory  of  the  dream  excitation 
through  organ  sensation."  ^ 

Of  course  attempts  at  such  diagnostic 
performance  from  a  dream  are  full  of  dis- 
appointment and  fraught  with  the  greatest 

1  "The  Interpretation  of  Dreams,"  pp.  27-28. 


Sometimes  a  temporary  physical  disturb- 
ance may  act  as  the  inciter  of  a  dream,  but 
becomes  so  disguised  by  the  censor  for  the 
purpose  of  protecting  sleep  and  thus  pre- 
venting awakening,  that  the  disturbance  it- 
self remains  unknown  to  the  sleeper  until 
he  awakens.  A  pretty  example  is  the  fol- 
lowing dream  of  a  young  married  woman. 
She  dreamed  that  she  was  feeling  ill  and 
consulted  a  woman  physician,  who  said  to 
her:  "You  are  worrying  about  something, 
a  man  by  the  name  of  X."  The  analysis 
of  this  brief  dream  is  interesting.  On 
awakening,  she  found  that  the  left  eye  was 
swollen  and  inflamed  apparently  from  some 
insect  bite  during  the  night.  The  name  of 
the  eye  specialist  whom  both  she  and  her 
husband  had  consulted  in  the  past,  and  in 
whom  she  had  great  confidence,  was  Doctor 
X.,  the  name  being  identical  with  the  one 
in  the  dream.  Thus  the  pain  and  discom- 
fort of  the  swollen  eye  sent  a  disguised  sub- 
stitute in  the  form  of  a  distorted  and  un- 



recognizable  dream  into  the  consciousness 
of  the  sleeper,  so  as  not  to  awaken  her. 
The  dream  was  really  a  desire  or  wish  on 
the  part  of  the  censor  to  protect  the  sleeper, 
and  this  wish  was  fulfilled  by  translating 
a  bodily  discomfort  into  a  meaningless 
dream.  The  dream  therefore  did  not  dis- 
turb sleep  ;  in  reality  it  protected  it.  The 
discrepancy  concerning  the  absence  of  pain 
or  discomfort  in  the  dream  is  readily  ex- 
plained when  we  remember  that  the  emo- 
tion of  discomfort  belonged  to  the  latent 
content  and  not  to  the  manifest  content 
of  the  dream. 

A  dream  may  often  solve  situations,  im- 
portant crises,  and  mental  conflicts  which 
may  bafl3e  one  in  the  waking  life.  The 
situation  and  the  conflict  are  cleared  up 
in  the  dream  by  a  kind  of  unconscious  in- 
cubation of  wishes,  and  only  in  this  sense  the 
dream  may  be  said  to  be  prophetic. 

An  example  of  this  is  the  following.  A 
young  woman,  after  her  betrothal,  began 



to  be  troubled  by  worries,  perplexities,  and 
mental  conflicts  concerning  the  decisive 
step  she  had  taken,  wondered  if  she  really 
loved  her  betrothed,  and  whether  or  not 
it  might  be  well  to  break  the  engagement. 
One  night  she  had  the  following  dream : 

Dream.  She  seemed  to  be  in  a  large 
house,  partly  clear  and  partly  dimly  rec- 
ognized ;  her  fiance  was  there,  only  in 
the  dream  he  seemed  to  be  her  husband. 
Her  mother-in-law  was  also  present,  knit- 
ting, and  paid  not  the  slightest  attention 
to  her.  Then  it  seemed  as  though  she  came 
down-stairs  with  her  hair  disarranged  and 
wearing  a  light  dressing-gown. 

Analysis.  This  is  a  pretty  example  of 
a  prophetic  wish  dream,  which  solved  the 
situation  which  was  baffling  her  and  causing 
the  perplexity  in  her  waking  life.  In  the 
dream,  her  mental  conflict  is  cleared  up,  the 
problem  has  been  solved  for  her  by  her 
secondary  consciousness  during  sleep.  In 
the  dream,  she  felt  thoroughly  at  home  in 



the  house,  although  it  did  appear  strange; 
no  one  noticed  her,  and  yet  her  feehngs 
were  not  hurt  or  ruffled ;  and  she  was  able 
to  go  about  clothed  in  a  dressing-gown 
without  the  slightest  embarrassment.  Now 
this  situation  could  only  have  taken  place 
where  there  was  great  intimacy,  and  such 
intimacy  could  only  have  been  brought 
about  if  she  were  a  member  of  her  fiance's 
family,  that  is,  actually  married  to  him. 
The  dream  is  a  wish  dream  of  family  in- 
timacy. Therefore,  in  spite  of  her  doubts, 
she  really  wanted  to  marry  this  particular 
person,  to  become  a  member  of  his  family. 
Her  problems  are  solved  in  the  dream; 
her  real,  unconscious  wish  has  neutralized 
her  perplexity  and  is  fulfilled.  But  since 
the  fulfillment  can  only  be  brought  about 
in  the  future,  the  dream  is  prophetic  only 
in  the  sense  that  her  wish  for  a  happy 
marriage  is  projected  into  the  future  and 
the  perplexing  situation  solved,  in  the 
form  of  a  dream. 



I  cannot  leave  the  subject  of  prophetic 
dreams  without  another  example  of  practi- 
cal medical  interest.  A  five-year-old  boy 
had  the  following  dream  : 

Dream.  A  number  of  dogs  came  to  the 
door  of  his  house,  and  one  little  black  dog 
actually  knocked  at  the  door.  As  he  was 
coming  up  the  steps,  he  grew  larger  and 
larger  and  was  changed  into  a  large  and 
fierce  white  dog.  Then  he  came  up  to  the 
little  boy  and  started  to  eat  him,  a  procedure 
which  was  not  objected  to,  because  the  little 
boy  felt  that  he  would  not  remain  in  thQ 
dog's  mouth  very  long. 

This  is  a  typical  anxiety  dream  which 
often  gives  rise  to  nightmares  in  children. 
From  this  dream  a  temporary  anxiety 
hysteria  was  predicted  in  the  child,  a  ner- 
vous disturbance  which  actually  took  place 
a  short  time  later.  The  boy  became  dis- 
satisfied because  he  did  not  care  to  live  in 
the  country ;  he  wanted  the  excitement  of 
the  city.     His  uncle,  who  was  a  physician, 



lived  in  the  city,  and  the  boy  had  visited 
him  shortly  before  the  dream  took  place. 
Therefore  a  simulated  illness  which  later 
took  place,  in  which  he  claimed  that  he 
had  an  earache,  pretended  to  cough,  etc., 
were  all  for  the  purpose  of  again  visiting 
his  uncle.  The  symptoms  completely  dis- 
appeared within  a  few  days,  on  advising 
the  parents  to  use  purposeful  neglect  of 
the  child's  complaints. 

The  point  which  I  wish  to  emphasize  by 
this  brief  recital  is  this :  that  the  morbid 
anxiety  produced  both  the  dream  and 
hysteria ;  both  had  the  same  mechanism,  and 
from  the  dream  it  was  possible  to  predict 
with  a  fair  amount  of  certainty  the  onset  of 
psychoneurotic  symptoms.  In  fact,  these 
symptoms  were  actually  predicted  at  the 
time  of  the  dream,  and  several  days  before 
the  symptoms  themselves  had  made  their 
actual  appearance. 

I  am  very  skeptical  concerning  prophetic 
dreams  which  actually  foretell  the  future. 



From  a  strictly  scientific  standpoint,  such 
an  interpretation  would  be  very  superficial 
in  that  it  did  not  take  into  full  cognizance 
all  the  complex  factors  which  may  produce 
a  dream.  For  instance,  it  must  be  proven, 
in  the  analysis  of  such  a  dream,  that  the 
event  "foretold"  in  the  future  never  existed 
as  a  wish  in  either  the  conscious  or  uncon- 
scious thought  of  the  dreamer.  In  my 
experience,  I  have  yet  failed  to  find  such 
a  genuine  prophetic  dream. 


Chapter   X 
Artificial  Dreams 

BY  an  artificial  dream  is  meant  a 
dream  which  a  person  consciously 
makes  up  when  requested  to  fabri- 
cate what  he  would  consider  to  be  a  genuine 
dream.  When  these  artificial  dreams  are 
analyzed,  they  will  be  found  to  contain  the 
same  mechanisms  as  genuine  dreams,  and 
behind  them  will  be  discovered  identical  un- 
conscious mental  processes.  In  the  analysis 
of  such  artificial  dreams,  the  same  wishes 
appear  as  in  real  dreams.  How  does  this  in- 
teresting process  take  place  .^  How  can  a 
conscious  imitation  of  a  dream  contain  the 
same  elusive  and  wish-fulfilling  thoughts  as 
a  real  dream  .^  It  is  here  that  the  theory 
of  psychical  determinism  comes  to  our  aid. 
It  has  been  shown  that  there  is  no  more 
room  for  chance  in  the  mental  world  than 



there  is  in  the  physical  world.  The  un- 
conscious and  likewise  the  foreconscious 
exerts  a  persistent  dynamic  influence  on 
our  behavior,  on  the  formation  of  com- 
plexes, in  every  element  of  our  thoughts, 
in  the  actions  of  every-day  life  and  in  our 
dreams.  Thus  every  conscious  mental  oc- 
currence bears  a  direct  and  causal  relation 
to  its  unconscious  or  foreconscious  source. 
For  this  reason,  any  series  of  thoughts  or 
ideas  given  at  random,  any  association  or 
group  of  associations  in  the  so-called  free 
association  procedures,  are  really  not  free, 
but  are  motivated  or  caused  by  unconscious 
or  foreconscious  mental  processes.  In 
sleep,  this  type  of  mental  activity  causes 
dreams ;  during  the  day  it  produces  reveries 
and  symptomatic  actions  like  slips  of  the 
tongue  or  pen.  All  reveries,  like  all  dreams, 
are  the  fulfillment  of  wishes.  The  fore- 
conscious or  unconscious  can  be  brought 
into  activity  only  by  a  wish  or  desire,  and 
the  realization  of  that  wish  in  the  thought 



processes  is  either  the  night  dream  or  the 
day  re  very.  Sometimes  this  process  of 
day-dreams  is  simple,  sometimes  it  is  highly 
dramatized,  like  the  day-dream  of  the  lover 
to  have  a  quiet  home  and  a  happy  family, 
or  of  the  boy  who  wishes  and  at  the  same 
time  identifies  himself  with  the  heroes  of 
history  or  romance. 

Thus  the  revery,  like  the  dream,  results 
from  the  same  motivating  process,  a  simple 
or  highly  disguised  wish,  and  in  it  can  be 
found  the  same  mechanisms  as  in  dreams. 
The  day-dream,  too,  may  be  called  the  mani- 
fest content  of  our  latent  or  repressed  wishes. 
Thus  a  revery  is  the  product  of  an  individual 
fantasy,  sometimes  voluntary,  sometimes 
involuntary,  but  in  either  case  not  the  prod- 
uct of  chance  or  of  logic.  It  differs  from 
the  genuine  dream  only  in  point  of  time, 
one  taking  place  at  night,  the  other  during 
the  day.  This  day-dreaming  has  been 
termed  ''autistic  thinking,"  and  its  chief 
characteristic   is   to   represent  desires   im- 



possible  of  fulfillment  in  reality,  as  actually 
fulfilled  in  the  imagination  during  the  day. 
The  symbolism  of  both  dreams  and  autistic 
thinking  has  its  roots  in  the  unconscious ; 
it  is  not  made  or  invented,  it  is  only  dis- 
covered by  the  analysis.  As  Bleuler  states 
in  his  description  of  autistic  thinking :  ^ 

''Each  of  us  has  also  his  fairy  tale.  He 
does  not  indeed  believe  himself  to  live  it; 
only  when  he  is  quite  alone  and  his  thoughts 
are  let  loose  does  it  come  to  light.  The  man 
is  then  rich,  attractive,  healthy,  and  hand- 
some. He  always  chooses  those  advantages 
in  which  he  is  most  hopelessly  lacking. 
Directly  reality  gains  .its  sway,  the  play- 
thing will  be  thrust  hastily  back  into  the 
cupboard,  where  it  is  hidden,  not  only  from 
strangers,  but  from  the  owner  himself; 
for,  once  outside  the  dream,  he  is  not  at  all 
aware  how  far  he  can  really  identify  him- 
self   with    its    characters.     The    cupboard 

*E.  Bleuler,  "Autistic  Thinking,"  American  Journal  of  Insanity, 



into  which  the  toy  is  put  is  our  own  brain, 
and  it  never  shuts  tight.  Without  our 
noticing  it,  the  imprisoned  fairy  very  often 
stretches  out  a  hand.  She  guides  our  taste 
in  the  choice  of  a  tie,  she  guides  our  hand 
when  we  make  the  flourish  to  our  signature. 
By  our  hearing,  our  voice,  the  choice  of  our 
phraseology,  she  shows  the  expert  the  trend 
of  our  aspirations." 

Thus  in  our  reveries  we  can  never  wholly 
emancipate  ourselves  from  our  wishes  and 
our  ambitions,  which  are  really  our  inner- 
most desires,  and  it  is  these  wishes  which 
make  up  our  artificial  dreams  and  give 
them  the  same  mechanism  and  significance 
as  the  spontaneous  dreams.  For  instance, 
a  young  woman  who  had  a  sense  of  timidity 
and  inferiority,  when  asked  to  give  an 
artificial  dream,  replied  very  significantly : 
''I  can't  make  up  a  dream  that  is  not  what 
I'd  like  —  I'd  like  to  be  a  great  orator  and 
talk  and  hold  an  audience."  Thus  the 
day-dream  expressed  the  fulfillment  of  her 



wishes,  and  these  wishes  were  a  kind  of 
compensation  for  her  own  defects  of 
character  and  her  feeHng  of  inferiority. 

When  a  subject,  therefore,  is  asked  to 
fabricate  a  dream,  that  is,  to  produce  an 
artificial  dream  by  stating  at  random  any 
thoughts  which  may  come  into  his  head, 
such  a  product  is  not  the  haphazard  fantasy 
of  his  waking  thoughts  (because  such  a 
thing  is  impossible)  but  is  motivated  or 
produced  by  his  conscious  or  unconscious 
wishes.  For  instance,  on  one  occasion  I 
requested  a  severe  stammerer  to  fabricate 
a  dream,  and  he  immediately  replied:  "I 
dream  that  I  am  addressing  a  large  audience 
without  stammering."  On  another  occa- 
sion, I  asked  a  subject  whose  nervous  dis- 
turbance had  produced  an  outward  im- 
pression of  stupidity,  to  fabricate  a  dream, 
and  the  immediate  answer  was:  "I  dream 
that  I  am  bright  and  alert."  In  both  these 
instances  the  replies  showed  fulfillments  of 
wishes,  the  same  as  in  genuine  dreams. 



A  highly  intelKgent  unmarried  woman, 
who  was  undergoing  the  psycho-analytic 
treatment,  at  my  request  and  in  my  pres- 
ence wrote  the  following  artificial  dreams. 
These  are  given  verbatim  with  the  outlines 
of  the  analysis  of  each  dream,  to  explain 
the  underlying  wishes. 

Artificial  Dream  I.  "Washing  a  little 
newly  born  baby  in  a  wash  bowl.  There 
seems  to  be  a  woman  in  bed,  not  well  enough 
to  be  up.  Face  is  not  distinct,  but  the  hair 
is  dark.  The  woman  seems  to  be  myself. 
The  baby  is  taken  out  of  the  bowl  and 
given  to  her  to  nurse.  Then  a  tall,  happy- 
looking,  fair-haired  man  came  to  the  door. 
He  appears  younger  than  she,  and  she  is 
happy  to  see  him." 

Analysis.  Her  wish  for  a  happy  mar- 
riage and  motherhood  is  fulfilled  in  this 
artificial  dream  as  a  pure  imaginative  prod- 
uct, the  same  as  the  wish  for  motherhood 
appeared  in  a  genuine  symbolized  dream 
a  few  nights  previously. 



Artificial  Dream  II.  "An  enormous 
glass  chandelier  in  a  concert  hall  full  of 
people.  It  is  a  vocal  recital.  I  am  on  the 
stage  singing." 

Analysis.  She  has  always  longed  to 
sing  in  public,  but  her  nervous  disturbance 
(morbid  fear)  made  such  a  thing  impossible. 
This  artificial  dream  therefore  represents  a 
fulfillment  of  her  desire  to  sing  in  public 
freely  and  spontaneously. 

Artificial  Dream  III.  "Interior  of  a 
Dutch  house,  and  a  Dutch  housewife  with 
a  funny  head-dress,  making  bread  on  a 
big  board.  There  is  a  window  at  her 
right,  and  kitchen  utensils  are  hung  up 
on  the  wall.  Bread  then  seems  to  be  in 
pans.  She  is  putting  it  in  the  oven,  and 
as  she  turns  around,  a  troop  of  from  four 
to  six  children  come  in  from  school,  and 
she  greets  them  and  runs  around  to  get 
dinner  for  them." 

Analysis.  The  instigator  of  these 
dreams   was  a  copy  of   The  Necklace  by 



Vermeer  of  Delft  which  hung  in  my 
office.  The  dreamer  had  been  in  Holland 
and  had  recently  been  reading  a  book  of 
travel  about  Holland.  In  this  travel  book, 
the  father  and  mother  were  represented  as 
travelling  with  their  two  children.  The 
father  knew  Dutch  history  and  so  kept 
the  children  informed;  the  mother  in  the 
book  seemed  to  know  all  about  Dutch 
housekeeping.  In  this  artificial  dream  she 
identifies  herself  with  the  mother  and 
wishes  that  she  were  in  the  mother's  place. 
Therefore,  like  the  first  artificial  dream, 
this  dream  represents,  in  a  somewhat  differ- 
ent arrangement  of  material,  a  wish  for 
motherhood  and  a  happy  home. 

Artificial  Dream  IV.  "  She  seemed  to 
be  a  young  woman  again,  at  college  and 
walking  on  the  campus  with  other  girls." 

Analysis.  A  wish  to  be  younger  and 
to  live  her  life  over  again. 

In  all  these  artificial  dreams,  a  desire  or 
wish  is  actually  fulfilled  or  realized;    in 



fact,  an  idea  which  merely  existed  in  the 
region  of  possibihty  is  here  replaced  by  a 
vision  or  mental  image  of  its  accomplish- 
ment. Thus  we  have  the  same  mechanism 
as  in  genuine  dreams. 

Artificial  dreams,  like  genuine  dreams, 
have  frequently  interwoven  within  them 
childhood  fantasies,  such  as  the  imagined 
family  conflicts  or  romances  of  the  child. 
This  is  particularly  seen  in  the  day-dreams 
of  children  and  adults,  both  of  which  bear  a 
strong  relationship  to  hysterical  fantasies. 
These  day-dreams  or  reveries  serve  for  the 
fulfillment  of  wishes  and  for  the  righting 
of  the  conflicts  of  life,  both  of  which  cannot 
be  realized  in  actuality.  They  realize,  in 
the  imagination,  either  personal  ambitions 
or  erotic  feelings. 

Experimental  dreams,  produced  artifi- 
cially by  hypnotic  command,  also  substan- 
tiate many  of  the  theories  of  Freud.  For 
instance,  in  some  experiments  when  the 
command  was  given  to  dream  something 



grossly  sexual,  the  resulting  dream  ex- 
pressed the  sexual  idAs,  not  literally, 
but  in  a  symbolized  form,  thus  proving 
experimentally  that  the  censor  was  at  work, 
and  the  dream  consisted  of  the  formation 
of  a  manifest  from  a  latent  content.  These 
and  other  experiments  have  demonstrated 
that  the  unconscious  complexes  determine 
for  the  main  part  the  character  of  our 
dreams,  and  that  this  unconscious  is  capable 
of  a  symbolization  of  our  latent  thoughts. 


Chapter  XI 
Dreams  and  Nervous  Diseases 

THE  dream  is  not  only  of  theoretical 
interest  in  elucidating  certain  prob- 
lems of  abnormal  psychology  and 
of  the  unconscious  in  particular,  but  it 
stands  in  the  center  of  the  psycho-analytic 
treatment  of  the  neuroses.  It  is  this 
psycho-analytic  treatment  which  repre- 
sents the  latest  and  most  logical  advance 
ever  made  in  medicine  in  the  treatment  of 
certain  functional  nervous  disturbances. 
Psycho-analysis  is  not  suggestion.  Sug- 
gestion merely  removes  certain  symptoms 
temporarily,  psycho-analysis  permanently, 
by  eliminating  the  unconscious  ideas  or 
complexes  which  caused  the  psychoneurotic 
disturbance.  The  fundamental  condition 
and  therefore  a  complete  understanding  of 



the  reason  for  a  psyehoneurosis  can  never  be 
reached  by  suggestion. 

The  term  psycho-analysis  is  appHed  to 
that  particular  form  of  treatment  and  in- 
vestigation of  the  neuroses  as  first  elabo- 
rated by  Freud,  whose  object  is  to  remove 
the  unconscious  sources  of  the  individual's 
nervous  disturbance.  The  treatment  is 
generally  applied  to  relieve  that  class  of 
nervous  sufferers  presenting  such  symptoms 
as  obsessions,  morbid  fears,  and  compul- 
sive thoughts  and  acts,  often  out  of  har- 
mony with  the  person's  training  and  char- 
acter. It  is  also  helpful  in  clearing  up 
many  personal  peculiarities  in  those  who 
are  not  actually  nervously  diseased. 

For  instance,  children  quickly  learn  to 
repress  certain  sensuous  and  anti-social 
tendencies,  and  as  adult  life  is  reached, 
there  is  an  inclination  to  preserve  these 
inwardly  but  very  actively,  as  a  hidden 
source  of  certain  pleasures  and  abnormal 
cravings.     We  all  of  us  thus  lead  double 



lives,  and  without  definitely  passing  into  the 
realm  of  the  pathologic,  we  are  all  more  or 
less  double  personalities,  i.e. :  our  veneer  or 
false  disguise  of  outward  social  conventions 
and  our  true  inward,  unconscious  selves, 
with  our  repressions  carried  over  from  child- 
hood, our  abnormal  cravings  and  savage 
instincts,  our  constant  fight  against  tempta- 
tion, and  our  occasional  yielding  to  it,  if  not 
actually  because  of  a  strong  moral  sense,  at 
least  inwardly  in  our  reveries  during  the  day 
and  in  our  dreams  at  night.  Thus,  a  highly 
refined  and  cultured  man  once  dreamed 
of  killing  his  stepson,  because  the  mother 
actually  paid  more  attention  to  him  than 
she  did  to  her  husband.  Culture  and  re- 
finement had  repressed  the  wish  which 
was  fulfilled  in  the  dream,  a  proof  of  the 
primitive  instinct  of  jealous  rage  which 
the  dreamer  had  carried  over  from  his  in- 
fantile thinking.  It  is  these  repressions, 
this  unconscious  personality,  which  often 
crops  out  in  the  dreams  of  the  normal  in- 



dividual  as  well  as  those  who  are  nervously- 
sick.  Well  does  Shakespeare,  with  the 
intuitive  insight  of  a  great  poet,  make 
the  doctor  say  in  Macbeth,  referring  to 
the  sleep-walking  of  Lady  Macbeth : 

"  Infected  minds 
To  their  deaf  pillows  will  discharge  their  secrets." 

Psycho-analysis  is  the  only  form  of  the  in- 
vestigation of  the  neuroses  which  explains 
why  certain  symptoms  occur,  as  in  the  past 
physicians  have  been  too  prone  to  interpret 
nervous  symptoms,  particularly  the  peculiar 
and  contradictory  behavior  of  hysterical 
patients,  as  a  form  of  inexplicable  stubborn- 
ness. Furthermore,  the  analytic  investi- 
gation of  the  symptoms  not  only  gives  both 
patient  and  physician  an  insight  into  the 
nervous  disease,  but  this  investigation 
also  acts  as  the  treatment  itself,  that  is, 
the  repressed  feelings  are  set  free,  and 
with  this  liberation,  the  symptoms  gradu- 
ally disappear.  In  the  individual,  repres- 
sion is  a  moral  function ;   in  the  masses  or 



in  the  race,  it  is  a  social  function.  When  a 
mental  conflict  arises  between  our  individ- 
ual repressed  impulses  and  our  moral, 
ethical,  or  religious  censorship,  we  have  a 
neurosis  in  the  form  of  an  obsession,  com- 
pulsive ideas,  hysterical  or  anxiety  or 
psychasthenic  states  or  fluctuations  in 
mood,  either  an  abnormal  exaltation  or  an 
abnormal  depression.  When  the  mental 
conflict  takes  place  among  the  masses,  we 
have  the  various  types  of  social  aggression, 
which  tend  to  upset  the  equilibrium  of 
civilization  and  lead  to  various  grades  of 
industrial  revolutions  or  to  such  bloody 
cataclysms  as  the  French  Revolution. 

These  repressed  thoughts  lie  in  the  un- 
conscious, and  since  the  dream  represents 
the  most  direct  road  for  the  investigation 
and  understanding  of  the  unconscious,  the 
dream  becomes  the  most  potent  instrument 
in  the  removal  of  symptoms  arising  from 
the  repressed  emotions  in  the  unconscious 
mental    life.     No    one,    however    healthy 



minded  or  nervously  unstrung,  no  one, 
no  matter  how  frank  or  sincere,  can  know 
his  unconscious  thoughts.  They  only  come 
to  the  surface  in  symptomatic  actions,  such 
as  slips  of  the  tongue  or  pen  which  are 
motivated  by  unconscious  feelings,  or  in 
dreams.  In  the  dream,  fragments  of  the 
unconscious  mental  life,  but  disguised  and 
symbohzed  and  distorted  out  of  all  pro- 
portion to  their  natural  semblance,  come 
to  the  surface  in  the  mind  of  the  sleeper, 
and  it  is  only  by  a  knowledge  of  the  science 
of  psycho-analysis  and  of  its  technical 
methods  that  these  fragments  of  the  un- 
conscious can  be  interpreted  and  under- 
stood. The  dream  then  gives  us  the  key 
to  the  unconscious  thoughts  which  are 
persistently  creating  the  patient's  symp- 
toms, which  make  and  keep  him  nervously 
ill,  and  therefore  dream-analysis  becomes 
the  most  important  method  in  that  form 
of  psychotherapy  known  as  the  psycho- 
analytic treatment. 



Since  the  unconscious  possesses  only  one 
function,  —  wishing  or  desiring,  —  both 
dreams  and  neurotic  symptoms  thus  be- 
come symboHc  or  Uteral  wish  fulfillments. 
Paradoxical  as  it  may  seem,  something  is 
gained  by  the  hysterical  symptoms,  as  in  the 
case  of  hysterical  bhndness  which  will  be 
described  and  analyzed  later  in  the  course 
of  this  chapter.  Of  course,  this  feeling  of 
gaining  something  is  an  unconscious  mental 
process,  of  which  the  symptoms  are  merely 
the  fulfillment  in  a  disguised  form.  Hys- 
terical symptoms  are  wish  fulfillments  sym- 
bolized, exactly  like  dreams. 

Through  a  mental  mechanism  which 
cannot  be  discussed  here,  because  it  would 
involve  too  many  technicalities,  the  re- 
pressed, unconscious  thoughts  are  frequently 
converted  into  the  symbolic,  physical  symp- 
toms of  the  hysteric.  For  instance,  in  the 
case  of  a  woman  who  had  double  vision 
due  to  hysteria  (that  is,  all  objects  appeared 
double  to  her),  it  could  be  shown  on  an- 



alysis  that  this  double  vision  was  not  an 
accidental  occurrence,  but  actually  bore  a 
strong,  causal  relationship  to  her  hysterical 
mental  state. 

This  double  vision  appeared  almost  im- 
mediately after  an  emotional  shock,  when 
she  found  that  her  husband  had  been  un- 
faithful to  her.  It  immediately  flashed 
across  her  mind  that  her  husband  was  lead- 
ing a  " double  life "  (her  own  expression),  and 
a  more  detailed  analysis  demonstrated  that 
this  idea  was  symbohzed  by  seeing  objects 
double.  In  fact,  after  the  emotional  shock, 
she  first  saw  her  husband  double,  and  it  was 
only  later  that  this  doubling  spread  to  other 
objects.  In  her  dreams,  too,  all  objects 
appeared  double,  thus  proving  that  the 
double  vision  was  not  due,  as  in  most  cases, 
to  an  organic  affection  of  the  eye  muscles, 
but  in  this  particular  case  had  a  psychical 
origin  and  was  a  symbolization  of  the 
woman's  conception  of  her  husband.  In- 
deed, when  she  first  saw  her  husband  double, 



there  was  associated  a  great  anxiety  and 
fear  of  losing  him  through  his  unfaithful- 
ness, and  therefore  the  double  vision  was 
at  first  a  reinforcement  of  a  wish  to  retain 
her  husband's  affections,  and  only  later  did 
it  symbolize  his  double  life.  Thus  this 
symptom,  in  its  symbolization,  condensa- 
tion, and  wish  fulfillment,  like  every  hysteri- 
cal symptom,  bore  a  striking  resemblance 
to  the  structure  of  a  dream. 

Since  inversely,  too,  the  formation  and 
structure  of  a  dream  bears  an  extraordinary 
resemblance  to  an  hysterical  symptom, 
dreams  are  very  valuable  for  exploring 
the  unconscious  mind  of  the  hysterical. 
An  hysterical  symptom  is  a  repressed  wish 
attempting  to  find  an  outlet;  a  dream  is 
a  repressed  wish  in  which  the  outlet  is  taking 
place  in  the  process  of  dreaming.  Both  are 
symbolized  wishes,  and  both  can  be  under- 
stood only  through  psycho-analysis. 

Stammering,  also,  is  frequently  a  symbol 
of    an    unconscious    mental    process,    the 



speech  defect  arising  in  an  effort  to  conceal 
a  repressed  thought  or  idea,  often  an  idea 
of  an  unpleasant  or  shameful  nature  which 
continually  tends  to  obtrude  itself  in  con- 
sciousness. Like  a  slip  of  the  tongue, 
stammering  is  not  accidental,  but  is  moti- 
vated or  caused  by  an  unconscious  mental 
process  of  which  the  sufferer  is  not  a  ware.  ^ 
The  following  case  demonstrates  how  the 
study  of  the  dreams  of  an  individual  not 
only  gave  an  insight  into  the  mechanism 
of  that  individual's  nervous  disease,  but 
likewise  furnished  the  material  for  the 
successful  cure  of  the  condition.  The  case 
in  question  refers  to  a  condition  of  hysteri- 
cal blindness  in  a  little  girl  of  eleven.^  In 
this  case  it  could  be  shown  that  childhood 
hysteria,  like  adult  hysteria,  has  the  same 
mechanisms,  in  that  the  hysterical  symp- 

*  Isador  H.  Coriat,  "Stammering  as  a  Psychoneurosis,"  Journal 
of  Abnormal  Psychology,  vol.  IX,  no.  6,  1915. 

2  For  a  complete  report  of  this  case,  the  reader  is  referred  to  my 
paper  on  "Some  Hysterical  Mechanisms  in  Children,"  Journal 
of  Abnormal  Psychology,  vol.  IX,  nos.  2-3.     1914. 



toms  expressed  the  fulfillment,  often  sym- 
bolic, of  a  repressed  wish,  exactly  the 
same  process  which  takes  place  in  the  dreams 
of  normal  individuals.  Thus  an  under- 
standing of  the  psychology  of  dreams  fur- 
nishes us  with  the  data  necessary  for  the 
understanding  of  hysteria.  In  children, 
however,  the  mental  processes  are  much  more 
simple  than  those  of  adults,  and  conse- 
quently their  dreams  and  hysterical  symp- 
toms are  far  less  complicated;  in  fact,  as 
previously  pointed  out,^  they  are  literal 
fulfillments  of  undisguised  wishes. 

The  little  girl  lost  her  eyesight  within 
a  period  of  a  few  weeks,  becoming  almost 
completely  blind.  A  complete  examina- 
tion of  the  eyes  and  the  nervous  system 
revealed  the  fact  that  there  was  no  evi- 
dence of  any  organic  disease.  The  condi- 
tion was  therefore  interpreted  as  purely 
functional,  a  form  of  hysterical  blindness, 
particularly  since  the  child  showed  other 

*  See  chapter  VTI,  Dreams  of  Children. 


evidences  of  hysteria,  such  as  a  nervous 
cough,  hysterical  convulsions,  and  an  in- 
ability to  feel  touch  and  pain  over  one 
entire  side  of  the  body. 

In  order  to  understand  the  mechanism 
of  this  hysterical  blindness,  it  was  deter- 
mined to  undertake  a  study  of  the  little 
girl's  dreams  as  offering  the  readiest  means 
of  access  to  her  unconscious  mental  con- 
flicts and  wishes.  In  this  I  was  fortunate 
in  securing  the  intelligent  co-operation  of 
the  little  patient's  mother.  The  following 
dreams  were  recorded.  The  dream  in- 
stigator as  ascertained  follows  each  dream 
in  parenthesis. 

Dream  I.  She  was  chasing  her  pet 
squirrel  around  the  house,  and  it  also  ap- 
peared as  if  the  squirrel  chased  her.  (She 
has  a  pet  squirrel.) 

Dream  II.  The  house  took  fire,  and  all 
the  family  were  saved  except  her  baby 
brother  (eighteen  months  old),  who  was 
burned   up.     (The   chimney  had  recently 



been  cleaned  out,  because  the  family  feared 
it  would  catch  fire.) 

Dream  III.  She  was  coming  from  a 
moving-picture  show  with  her  mother  and 
her  younger  brother  S.  (age  nine),  and  her 
elder  sister  O.  (age  thirteen) .  Then  she  saw 
a  man  in  a  near-by  store,  and  because  she 
felt  he  had  no  right  there,  as  the  store  was 
closed,  she  called  up  the  proprietress  of 
the  store,  telling  her  that  she  would  guard 
it.  She  remained  near  the  store  and  sent 
her  mother  and  the  other  two  children 
home.  (She  had  recently  been  to  a  mov- 
ing-picture performance.) 

Dream  IV.  She  and  her  brother  (S., 
age  nine)  were  coming  down  the  street, 
and  through  a  crack  in  the  board-walk  she 
saw  a  penny,  and  she  stooped  to  pick  it 
up.  Then  she  saw  pennies  all  around,  and 
she  filled  her  pockets  full.  Then  a  man 
came  and  shot  her  brother  S.  and  killed 
him,  and  she  felt  badly.  Then  the  man 
also  shot  at  her,  but  merely  frightened  her. 



Dream  V.  Her  baby  brother  G.  was 
missing.  He  had  run  away  and  gone  up 
to  church,  and  she  started  to  run  after  him, 
and  then  he  turned  and  ran  into  a  snow- 
drift and  disappeared. 

Dream  VI.  She  and  her  three-year- 
old  brother  (R.)  and  a  httle  girl  playmate, 
B.,  were  sliding  down  hill  with  their  sleds. 
Finally  R.  ran  into  a  snowdrift  and  dis- 
appeared, and  B.  and  she  ran  on  and  left 
him  there.  (The  instigator  of  these  last 
two  dreams  was  frequent  coasting  with 
her  sled.) 

Dream  VII.  She  was  visiting  B.  with 
her  father  and  was  riding  through  the  sub- 

Dream  VIII.  She  was  in  school,  happy, 
studying  her  lessons,  and  with  all  her 

In  analyzing  this  series  of  dreams,  their 
simple  character,  undistorted  by  symboli- 
zation,  stands  out  prominently.  Then,  too, 
nearly  every  dream  could  be  found  to  be 



instigated  either  by  some  happening  during 
the  day  or  by  some  mental  conflict  of  the 
nature  of  an  unfulfilled  wish,  the  wish,  how- 
ever, becoming  completely  fulfilled  in  the 
dream.  It  was  found  also  that  all  the 
dreams  represented  unfulfilled  conscious 
and  unconscious  wishes  which  were  re- 
pressed during  the  day. 

The  instigators  of  some  of  these  dreams, 
so  far  as  could  be  demonstrated,  have  al- 
ready been  given  in  parenthesis  at  the 
end  of  each  dream.  Although  the  dream 
instigators  were  harmless  enough,  yet  the 
content  of  each  dream  represented  the  ful- 
filling of  important  repressed  childhood 
wishes,  relating  principally  to  family  con- 
flicts and  jealousies,  particularly  toward 
her  younger  brothers  and  sisters.  This  is 
not  at  all  surprising  when  we  remember 
that  the  feelings  of  most  children  for 
their  younger  brothers  and  sisters  is  far 
from  being  altogether  one  of  affection.  In 
fact,  there  is  a  feehng  of  rivalry  and  jealousy 



toward  the  younger  ones  of  the  family, 
particularly  if  these  younger  members  in 
any  way  hinder  or  interfere  with  the  child's 
play  activities. 

Thus  the  child  is  an  egoist;  it  has  little 
or  no  altruistic  or  family  feelings.  It  sees 
in  its  elders  an  oppressor  and  interprets 
the  younger  members  of  the  family  as 
rivals  for  the  parental  love  which  it  feels 
should  be  showered  on  it  alone.  This 
rivalry  is  not  only  seen  in  the  love  of  the 
son  for  the  mother  and  of  the  daughter 
for  the  father,  but  likewise  in  the  relation- 
ship between  brothers  and  sisters,  partic- 
ularly if  they  happen  to  be  younger.  The 
child  not  only  wishes  its  younger  rivals 
dead  (or  out  of  sight,  which  is  synonymous 
for  the  child),  but  if  this  rival  in  any  way 
interferes  with  its  activities,  the  wish  for 
its  death  or  disappearance  is  actually  ful- 
filled in  the  dream.  Sometimes  the  wish 
in  very  young  children  is  clearly  indicated 
in  their  speech;    in  other  older  children 



the  wish  is  suppressed.  For  instance,  a 
Httle  boy  of  my  acquaintance,  when  asked 
if  he  loved  a  new  arrival  in  the  shape  of  a 
little  brother,  replied  that  he  would  "throw 
him  down  the  elevator  well",  and  later 
showed  his  disgust  with  him  by  saying: 
"He  can't  talk  or  anything."  Freud's 
case  of  Hans,  too,  showed  his  coolness 
toward  a  new  arrival  by  stating  that  "He 
had  no  teeth."  Facts  such  as  these,  in 
the  form  of  conscious  jealousy  associated 
with  an  unconscious  wish  to  put  the  younger 
member  of  the  family  aside,  could  be  elicited 
in  our  case. 

For  some  period  the  little  patient  had 
shown  a  jealousy  of  her  younger  brothers 
and  sisters,  and  at  times,  particularly  at 
Christmas,  she  accused  her  father  and 
mother  of  "speaking  more  about  their 
presents"  (referring  to  the  younger  chil- 
dren) "than  of  mine."  She  is  apt  to  feel 
badly  also,  unless  her  mother  takes  her  to 
entertainments  to  the  exclusion  of  the  other 



children.  Toward  her  baby  brother,  who 
was  eighteen  months  old  at  the  time  the 
hysterical  blindness  began,  she  has  shown 
a  certain  amount  of  ambivalence,^  in  that 
during  her  waking  moments  she  reiterated 
her  love  for  him,  whereas  she  systemati- 
cally wished  him  out  of  the  way  in  her 

The  child's  first  difficulty  with  the  eye- 
sight occurred  while  she  was  at  school. 
Her  mother  had  been  away  for  several 
weeks,  and  during  her  mother's  absence 
the  maid  suddenly  left  the  house.  Thus 
there  devolved  upon  her  the  partial  care 
of  the  house  and  also  of  the  younger  chil- 
dren. She  resented  this  added  labor,  as  it 
interfered  with  her  play  activities,  and  this 
feeling  was  accentuated  by  the  added 
jealousy  towards  her  younger  brothers, 
which   she   had   displayed   in   times   past. 

1 A  term  applied  in  psycho-analysis  which  gives  the  same  idea 
two  contrary  feelings,  such  as  hating  and  loving  or  repulsion  and 
attraction,  or  which  invests  the  same  thought  simultaneously 
with  both  a  positive  and  negative  character. 



Her  nine-year-old  brother  S.  plays  with 
another  boy  about  his  own  age,  and  this 
also  made  her  jealous,  as  she  wished  to 
play  with  the  boy  alone.  The  play  activi- 
ties of  children  frequently  have  an  associ- 
ated erotic  component,  such  as  in  swinging 
and  in  muscular  activity.  Out  of  this 
mental  attitude  of  jealousy  and  of  what 
she  considered  an  interference  with  her 
play  activities,  she  developed  the  idea  (a 
wish)  that  if  she  were  ill,  the  added  family 
labor  would  be  taken  away  from  her,  and 
thus  she  would  be  free  to  play  again.  Thus 
the  purposeful  mental  action  arose,  some- 
thing would  be  gained  by  a  conversion  of 
this  wish  into  blindness,  so  as  not  to  see 
her  surroundings  and  the  children.  How- 
ever, the  blindness  was  not  a  selected  one, 
directed  to  the  younger  children  alone, 
but  also  comprised  her  school  and  play 
activities  in  such  a  manner  that  she  could 
not  see  to  read  the  fairy  stories  of  which 
she  was  fond,   the   blackboard   at  school, 



or  her  normal  outdoor  sports.  That  is, 
her  converted  wish  defeated  her  own  ends, 
the  bHndness  became  general,  and  she 
was,  so  to  speak,  ''hoisted  with  her  own 

After  the  mechanism  of  her  blindness 
as  a  converted  wish  became  understood 
through  the  dream  analysis,  it  was  this 
mechanism  which  furnished  the  hints  for 
the  psychotherapy  and,  therefore,  cure  of 
the  condition.  The  child  was  taken  out 
of  school  and  not  allowed  to  play  or  read, 
and  meanwhile  a  promise  was  held  out  to 
her  that  she  would  again  be  allowed  to 
play,  read,  and  return  to  school  as  soon  as 
her  eyesight  was  better.  The  dreams  fur- 
nished strong  evidence  of  this  persistent 
wish  to  resume  her  school  and  play  activi- 
ties, and  it  was  on  the  basis  of  the  dreams 
that  the  psychotherapy  was  carried  out. 
By  the  use  of  this  simple  and  logical  method, 
when  the  child,  who  was  quite  intelligent, 
saw  that  nothing  further  was  to  be  gained 



by  her  blindness,  since  it  defeated  its  own 
ends  by  being  total  and  not  selective,  the 
vision  gradually  became  normal.  The 
symptom  of  blindness  by  this  simple 
psychotherapeutic  method  not  only  dis- 
appeared, but  the  converted  wish  that  was 
lying  at  the  bottom  of  her  hysteria  like- 
wise vanished. 

Thus  this  little  girl's  hysteria  resulted 
from  a  struggle  between  her  conscious 
feelings  and  her  unconscious  wishes,  with 
the  result  that  the  latter  gained  the  upper 
hand,  leading  to  the  hysterical  blindness. 
Like  many  hysterical  patients,  paradoxical 
as  it  may  seem,  she  gained  something  by 
being  nervously  ill,  in  this  case  the  gain 
being  a  rehef  from  household  drudgery 
which  would  follow  if  she  could  not  see 
what  to  do.  Every  dream,  like  every 
hysterical  symptom,  is  a  gain,  a  wish  ful- 

For  instance,  an  important  and  distress- 
ing symptom  of  many  functional  nervous 



disturbances  is  the  feeling  of  unreality, 
in  which  the  surroundings  appear  far  off, 
like  looking  through  the  wrong  end  of  an 
opera  glass,  vague,  and  dream-like,  in  which 
it  seems  as  if  the  individual  were  partially 
or  completely  cut  off  from  the  physical  uni- 
verse. These  unreality  feelings  frequently 
arise  because  the  subject  finds  that  reality 
is  too  painful  to  bear,  because  he  feels  that 
he  cannot  struggle  successfully  with  the 
perplexities  of  life.  Consequently  the  sub- 
ject comes  to  live  in  an  ideal,  dream  world 
of  his  own  making  and  building,  where 
everything  is  set  to  right,  and  where  there 
are  no  difficulties  and  struggles.  This  ideal 
world  is  really  the  land  of  his  heart's  desire, 
and  so  calm  is  it,  so  safe  does  he  feel,  that 
he  finally  chooses  the  world  of  his  own 
ideas  rather  than  the  world  of  physical 
reality.  Thus  the  unreality  gains  the  upper 
hand  and  finally  dominates  the  personality. 
The  neurotic  thus  comes  to  live  within 
himself  or  rather  within  the  unreality  of  his 



neurosis.  The  inherent  factor,  the  real 
mechanism  at  the  bottom  of  every  neurosis, 
is  a  mental  conflict.  It  follows  from  this  that 
although  there  may  be  a  congenital  disposi- 
tion to  nervousness,  no  one  of  us  is  born  with 
a  nervous  disease,  but  we  acquire  it  as  a 
result  of  a  maladaptation  to  surroundings, 
of  not  adequately  meeting  the  issues  of 
life,  or  from  our  repressed  emotions  and 
mental  conflicts.  In  many  nervous  dis- 
turbances, there  is  a  withdrawal  from  the 
world  of  reality  and  from  the  issues  and 
conflicts  of  life,  which  are  all  evaded  by 
first  consciously  living  in  a  world  of  pain- 
less unreality  from  which  these  issues  are 
absent  and  which  finally  gains  the  upper 

Psycho-analysis  as  carried  out  through  a 
study  of  the  dreams  is  of  value  not  only  in 
the  nervously  sick,  but  in  the  normal  in- 
dividual as  well.  It  enables  us  to  know  our 
own  weaknesses  and  prejudices,  the  causes 
of  our  successes  or  failures,  our  repressions, 



vague  fears,  and  superstitions,  and  to  point 
out  the  path  for  the  remedying  of  these 
mental  and  moral  and  ethical  defects. 
Freud  states  concerning  this  point: 

"Whoever  has  had  the  opportunity  of 
studying  the  concealed  psychic  feelings  of 
persons  by  means  of  psycho-analysis  can 
also  tell  something  new  concerning  the 
quality  of  unconscious  motives  which  ex- 
press themselves  in  superstition.  Nervous 
persons  afflicted  with  compulsive  thinking 
and  compulsive  states,  who  are  often  very 
intelligent,  show  very  plainly  that  supersti- 
tion originates  from  repressed  hostile  and 
cruel  impulses.  The  greater  part  of  super- 
stition signifies  fear  of  impending  evil,  and 
he  who  has  frequently  wished  evil  to  others, 
but  because  of  a  good  bringing  up  has  re- 
pressed the  same  into  the  unconscious,  will 
be  particularly  apt  to  expect  punishment  for 
such  unconscious  evil  in  the  form  of  a  mis- 
fortune threatening  him  from  without."  ^ 

1  "Psychopathology  of  Everyday  Life."     p.  311. 


As  an  example,  a  neurotic  man,  whom  I 
had  the  occasion  to  psycho-analyze,  one 
day,  in  the  course  of  treatment,  brought  me 
the  two  following  dreams : 

Dream  1.  He  seemed  to  be  running  an 
elevator,  and  with  him  was  a  man  whose 
foot  became  caught  between  the  elevator 
and  the  well,  as  the  former  was  ascending, 
but  nevertheless  he  kept  on  running  the 

Dream  2.  He  seemed  to  be  talking 
with  a  man  and  then  started  to  mount  the 
seat  of  a  wagon,  and  as  he  did  so,  the  man 
reached  the  seat  before  him,  as  if  to  steal 
the  horse  and  wagon.  Thereupon,  in  a 
manner  which  was  not  altogether  clear  in 
the  dream,  he  toppled  the  wagon  over,  and 
it  then  seemed  as  if  the  wagon  were  full  of 
iron  bars.  These  fell  upon  the  man  and 
pinioned  him  down,  and  he  stood  on  top  of 
the  pile  and  called  for  the  police. 

Apparently  these  two  dreams  were  mean- 
ingless, except  that  they  showed  a  wish  on 



the  part  of  the  subject  to  bring  injury  and 
disaster  to  each  man.  It  developed  that 
he  dishked  the  man  in  the  first  dream  for 
his  arrogance,  while  the  man  in  the  second 
dream  he  had  known  ever  since  both  were 
little  boys.  This  latter  person  once  threw 
a  stone  and  struck  the  subject  on  the  back 
of  the  head,  and  since  then  he  had 
often  thought  that  this  head  injury  may 
have  been  responsible  for  his  nervous  dis- 
turbance. Hence  the  scheme  of  revenge 
in  both  cases  and  the  repressed  wish  that 
evil  might  befall  each,  although  this  wish 
was  only  fulfilled  in  the  dream  and  never 
in  reality.  In  the  course  of  the  analysis, 
it  developed  that  the  subject  was  very 
superstitious.  He  would  not  cross  a  funeral 
procession  but  would  wait  for  the  procession 
to  pass,  because  he  felt  if  he  did  so  that  he 
would  develop  some  mental  trouble.  Walk- 
ing under  a  ladder  always  signified  to  him 
that  bad  luck  would  follow.  Sometimes, 
in  order  to  prove  to  himself  that  he  was  not 



superstitious  (a  kind  of  a  defence  reaction), 
he  would  purposely,  for  instance,  sit  at  a 
table  making  thirteen  or  laugh  at  people 
who  wouldn't  do  so,  yet  all  the  time  feeling 
that  evil  or  death  would  overtake  him. 
Thus  his  superstitious  fear  of  impending 
evil  arose  because  he  wished  disaster  would 
happen  to  others,  not  consciously  so,  but 
repressed  into  the  unconscious  and  only 
appearing  in  his  dreams.  The  fear  of  evil 
happening  to  him  was  therefore  a  reversal 
of  his  repressed  wish  that  evil  might  hap- 
pen to  others. 

The  end  of  all  psycho-analysis  is  two- 
fold :  first,  to  educate  the  patient  to  become 
an  independent  personality  by  directly 
freeing  him  from  his  neurosis  and  therefore 
from  his  infantile  limitations,  so  that  when 
the  dependence  of  the  physician  is  cut  off, 
the  patient  can  be  put  on  his  own  feet,  so 
to  speak ;  and  secondly,  to  relieve  the  re- 
pressed emotions  so  that  they  may  be  in- 
dulged in  freely  and  unhampered,  partly 



by  conscious  control  and  partly  by  con- 
ducting those  emotions  to  a  higher  and  less 
objectionable  goal.  This  last  process  is 
termed  sublimation,  and  if  properly  carried 
out  in  the  hands  of  a  skilled  psycho-analyst, 
the  repressed  instincts  become  unchained 
and  thereby  can  no  longer  produce  a  neu- 
rosis, and  the  conflict  between  repression 
and  the  attempt  on  the  part  of  the  individ- 
ual to  find  an  outlet  for  the  repression, 
which  is  the  process  that  causes  the  nervous 
malady,  disappears. 

It  is  the  dream  which  guides  us  into  the 
patient's  unconscious,  repressed  emotions; 
it  is  through  the  dream,  too,  that  the  final 
sublimation,  the  freeing  from  the  neurosis, 
is  reached. 




Ambivalence,  181. 
Anxiety     Dreams,     87-92, 

Artificial  Dreams,  153-162. 
Autistic  Thinking,  155-157. 

Bleuler,  E.,  156-157. 
BriU,  A.  A.,  23. 

Carroll,  Lewis,  36. 
Censor,  33-34,  81-95. 
Condensation    of    Dreams, 

30,  69-72. 
Content    of    Dreams,    67- 

Content,  latent,  30,  68. 
Content,  manifest,  30,  68. 
Coriat,  I.  H.,  23,  62,  92, 

101,  107,  118,  128,  173. 

Dream  Motives,  38-39. 
Dream,    Protective    Fmic- 

tion  of,  96-97,  103-105. 
Dream  Work,  39,  73. 
Dreams  and  Character,  5-d. 
Dreams  and  Hysteria,  103- 

104,  172. 
Dreams,  History  of,  8-11. 
Dreams  of  Children,  106- 

Dreams    of    Death,    124- 

Dreams    of   Indians,    116- 

Dreams  within  Dreams,  74- 


Elaboration  of  Dreams, 

Electra-Complex,  114. 
Determinism  in  Mental      Experimental  Dreams,  162- 
Processes,   19-23,   153-  163. 

DeVries,  H.,  11. 
Displacement    in    Dreams, 

30,  72-73. 
Dramatization  of  Dreams, 

Dream  Analysis,  Example 
of,  13-42. 

Flying  Dreams,  133-135. 
Freud,  S.,  2,  6,  9,  23-24, 

42,    44,     111,     141-142, 

144-145,  187. 
Furlong,  Charles  W.,  116. 

Grubb,  W.  B.,  117. 



Hysteria,  170-172. 
Hysteria  in  Children,  173- 

Insomnia,  Psycho-ana- 
lytic Treatment  of, 

Instigators  of  Dreams,  29. 

Mechanism    of    Dreams, 

Mendel,  G.,    11. 
Mental  Conflicts,  168. 
Myths  and  Dreams,  135- 


Nakedness  Dreams,  122- 

124,  130-132. 
New  England   Conscience, 


(Edipus-Complex,        113, 

Over-determination,  41. 

Prophetic  Dreams,   141- 

Psycho-analysis,  164-169. 
Psycho-analysis  of  Normal 

Individuals,  186-190. 
Psycho-analysis,  Object  of, 

Reinforcement    m 

Dreams,  74. 
Repression,  81-94, 165-167. 
Resistance,  58,  86. 

Sexual  Dreams,  79-80. 
Sleep,  101. 

Stammering,  172-173. 
Stevenson,     R.     L.,     109- 

Sublimation,  191. 
Superstition,  187. 
Symbolic    Thinking,    139- 

Symbolism  of  Dreams,  79- 


Taylor,  H.  O.,  140. 
Typical  Dreams,  121-135. 

Unconscious,  4,  57. 
Unconscious,  Barbaric  Na- 

turelof,  62. 
Unconscious     in     Dreams, 

Unreality,  Feeling  of,  184- 


Wish   Conflicts,   49. 
Wish,  Definition  of,  48. 
Wishes  in  Dreams,  44-56. 
Wit,  6. 



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